10 Surprising Long Term Side Effects of Bankart Repair

Have you heard of bankart repair, and do you know its side effects? That’s what this article aims to inform you about.

Bankart shoulder repair is a surgical procedure done to repair recurrent dislocations of the shoulder joint.

It involves re-attaching worn-out ligaments to the correct position in the shoulder joint with an aim to restore normal function.

The surgery is done under general anesthesia and takes about 2 to 3 hours.

If you are planning to get the procedure done, then knowing the long-term side effects of bankart repair should be part of your preparation.

This article explains 10 such long-term side effects of bankart repair and it will help you make an informed decision with regards to whether or not you should still get the procedure.

Aside from the long-term side effects of bankart repair, it also answers a few other frequently asked questions about the procedure that will help with your research.

How long does bankart repair last?

There are several factors that determine your recovery period, including your lifestyle and your body’s ability to heal.

Usually, patients stay in the hospital overnight after the surgery and go home the next day.

You should not remove the stitches for about 2 weeks unless your doctor advises otherwise.

For most people, healing happens within the first 6 weeks.

However, in some cases it can take about 9-12 months to achieve complete healing.

If you want it to heal fast, you have to take active steps towards ensuring your rehabilitation, with the supervision of your doctor.

Additionally, make sure not to skip your physiotherapy sessions that will help restore mobility in your joint.


What should you not do after bankart repair?

After you undergo this procedure, you should not try to move your arm from the shoulder joint except with the permission of your doctor.

You can, however, remove the sling severally during the day and gently move your wrist, hand and elbow.

You may also perform pendulum exercises as gently as possible to hasten recovery.

When can you drive after a bankart repair?

Be ready to only use your other hand for at least the first few weeks after the procedure.

You can start driving a car at 6 weeks or thereabout when you will have achieved a considerable amount of recovery.

By around week 10 you should be completely comfortable using the shoulder on which the surgery was done.

How do you sleep after bankart repair?

You will probably have some difficulty sleeping after you’ve had this surgery.

This is because you have to sleep in a position that does not hurt your healing shoulder.

To sleep better, you can use a pillow prop to provide extra support to your healing shoulder and allow for proper blood circulation.

Additionally, wearing your sling at night will help keep your arm in place to prevent any movements that may hurt the shoulder.

Also, be sure to take your pain medication just before you go to bed.

Putting ice on your shoulder may also help reduce inflammation and help you sleep better.

Long-term side effects of bankart repair

Before you consent to the procedure, here are some long-term side effects of bankart repair that you should have at the back of your mind.

It can make your shoulder stiff

Shoulder stiffness is a common long-term side effect of this procedure.

It usually occurs between 6 weeks to 6 months and can last for quite a long time if not addressed as soon as possible.

If you notice your shoulder getting stiff after this procedure, you should notify your doctor immediately.

Additionally, you can do stretching exercises for the shoulder to improve mobility in the joint, but only with the permission of your physiotherapist.

The suture anchors used in the procedure may fail

Suture anchors are small pieces of metal usually used to attach soft tissue to bone during orthopedic surgery.

It is common for suture anchors used for to fail, especially in shoulder surgeries.

Failure can occur when the anchors migrate into different locations or loosen within the joint cavity.

When this happens, they can cause further complications by damaging the cartilage which would necessitate their removal.

Joint instability may recur

Your shoulder joint may become more unstable after your shoulder surgery.

This happens when your shoulder muscles and ligaments become weaker hence unable to hold the bones at your joint in place.

You may suffer nerve injury

There’s a good chance that you may suffer nerve injury especially on your axillary nerve.

Nerve injury, in the case of a bankart repair surgery, usually occurs when the effects of anesthesia fail to fade off after the procedure.

In some cases, nerve injury can be corrected by a subsequent surgery while in others, surgery may not help restore normal nerve functioning.

It can worsen atopic dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis is a condition that causes itchiness and inflammation of the skin.

It is chronic and tends  to flare up on exposure to certain triggers.

Patients with atopic dermatitis have reported recurrent flare ups after getting this procedure done.

It can cause osteoarthritis

Postoperative osteoarthritis is one of the common long-term side effects of bankart repair as research suggests.

Osteoarthritis is a condition that causes pain and tightness in the joints.

It occurs when the cartilage that protects the ends of bones wear down and cease to function properly.

It can cause bone loss

You may experience significant bone loss in your upper arm bone, which can impair your ability to move the arm.

Additionally, the glenoid, which serves as the socket of your shoulder joint, may get worn out as a result of this surgery.

It can destroy articular cartilage in your shoulder joint

Destruction of the cartilage that covers the upper end of the shoulder bone is one of the long-term side effects of bankart repair.

This condition is scientifically known as chondrolysis.

It results in total loss of articular cartilage due to the destruction of the cells found in the cartilage.

Chondrolysis in turn leads to a severe and progressive loss of shoulder function, which can also cause discomfort to the patient.

You may develop joint and tissue infection

Generally, infections that occur after bankart repair are superficial in nature and they resolve with antibiotic treatment.

However, in rare cases, you may develop infection within your shoulder joint or the deep tissues.

Such infections usually cause severe dysfunction in your shoulder.

It can cause superficial vein thrombosis

Although it is one of the rare long-term side effects of bankart repair, you may develop thrombosis on your superficial veins.

Superficial vein thrombosis occurs when a blood clot forms in the superficial veins of your body.

Usually, it occurs in the veins of the arms or the legs.


Knowing the long-term side effects of bankart repair should form part of your research pre-surgery.

It is important that you know everything about the procedure before you commit yourself to it.

In addition to what we have discussed in this article, try to find out everything else you need to know about the procedure prior to surgery day.

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