Young, active patients with traumatic instability have a high recurrence risk and may need to have surgery to prevent further damage and allow for higher function. Arthroscopic surgery can be performed on an outpatient basis as it is much less invasive than open surgery. Arthroscopy is done with a miniature camera; and only requires small incisions to repair the ligaments. In some cases, open surgery will be required.
In an arthroscopic labral or bankart repair, the surgeon will insert a microscopic camera to visualize the glenoid surface and labrum. Using sutures and an anchor (typically attached to the biceps), the labrum will be reattached to the glenoid to facilitate improved range of motion and stability in the shoulder. The location and number of sutures will be determined by the extent of the tear in the labrum. For type four and complex labral tears, the surgeon may also perform a resection of the frayed tissue to smooth out the surface and provide more room in the glenoid area.
Recovery from an arthroscopic surgery will be much faster than an open incision method. A sling is typically recommended for the first 2-3 days following surgery, after which a rehabilitation program should begin for basic range of motion exercises. 4-6 weeks after surgery, an active physical therapy program is recommended to return to normal mobility.