Our shoulder joint is made up of humerus (ball) and the glenoid (socket). The socket of the shoulder (glenoid) is covered with a layer of cartilage (labrum) that helps stabilize the shoulder joint. Repetitive overhead shoulder movements or any other trauma can cause the labrum to tear. Labral tears are often described by their location. One of the most common labral injuries is the Bankart Lesion. It is named after English Orthopaedic Surgeon Arthur Sydney Blundell Blankart, who first described the injury and the surgical repair. It is also called Glenoid Labrum Tear. A bankart lesion occurs when the labrum at the bottom front of the glenoid gets torn from the cartilage and bone. This tends to happen when the shoulder dislocates anteriorly, that is the head of the humerus is popped forward out of the glenoid socket. Along with the labrum, if the bone is also damaged (fractured), it is called Bony Bankart Lesion. When the lesion to the labrum occurs simultaneously with a structural defect of the bone of the humeral head, it is called a Hill-Sachs Lesion.
When the glenoid labrum is torn below the front of the socket, Bankart lesion forms. When there is a tear in the labrum, the cartilage rim around the socket is exposed, causing the humeral head to slip farther than normal. Majority of Bankart lesion occurs due to anterior dislocations when arm is extended to the side (movement of the arm is too far forward). A Bankart lesion can also happen when the arm is forced backwards (posterior dislocation), thereby tearing the labrum, however it is not very common. Bankart lesion, if left untreated, can lead to chronic shoulder instability, causing the shoulder to dislocate again in the future, though the situation of the shoulder dislocation may be less force than the original injury.
Bankart Lesion – Causes
The same mechanisms that can lead to a shoulder dislocation are amongst the causes leading to Bankart lesion. Bankart Lesion is common sports injury among athletes who play volleyball, football, handball, basketball, tennis, wrestling etc. It is also common among people who do repeated overhead activities like construction workers. Collision and accidents can also cause Bankart lesion. Another cause of Bankart Lesion is trauma which causes forceful movement of the shoulder. Though anyone can cause this injury, It commonly occurs in elderly people particularly woman, above 60 years due to falls and young men in their twenties. Bankart Lesions are often caused by a shoulder dislocation, either partial or complete. Common causes of a Bankart lesion are the following: