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What is the treatment for post-traumatic instability?

Post-traumatic shoulder instability can be corrected with surgical procedures that are designed to repair and strengthen the ligaments that keep the shoulder in the joint normally. These operations have been developed over the years as doctors have recognized that many unstable shoulders have a particular type of an injury called a "Bankhart lesion". The Bankhart lesion specifically refers to an injury where part of the capsule of the shoulder joint is pulled away from the bone.

Surgical techniques are aimed at fixing this problem and also tightening up the ligaments of the shoulder that have been stretched or torn by the dislocation. Without an operation, physical therapy is of limited use as a treatment plan for preventing post-traumatic instability. This is because the cause of the shoulder instability is a torn or stretched ligament, which can not be fixed or improved with physical therapy.

Repairing the torn capsule and ligament back to the bone is called a Bankhart repair, and tightening the capsule of the shoulder is called a "capsular shift". Both of these procedures can be done with both open and arthroscopic techniques. Open techniques are tried and true and they are very reliable in preventing future episodes of instability. Arthroscopic techniques have recently been developed in order to decrease the size of the surgical scar and the amount of pain after the operation, and also speed up the rehabilitation after the operation. Your doctor will be able to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of surgery that are designed to correct shoulder instability.

Shoulder Injury - Capsula Tear

Capsular Tear

Shoulder Injury - Capsular Shift

Capsular Shift

Shoulder Injury - Capsular Shift Repaired

Capsular Shift Repaired

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