Treatment of Bankart Lesions in Traumatic Anterior Instability of the Shoulder: A Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing Arthroscopy and Open Techniques

Published:February 20, 2012DOI:


      The objective of this study was to compare the functional assessments of arthroscopy and open repair for treating Bankart lesion in traumatic anterior shoulder instability.


      Fifty adult patients, aged less than 40 years, with traumatic anterior shoulder instability and the presence of an isolated Bankart lesion confirmed by diagnostic arthroscopy were included in the study. They were randomly assigned to receive open or arthroscopic treatment of an isolated Bankart lesion. In all cases of both groups, the lesion was repaired with metallic suture anchors. The primary outcomes included the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) questionnaire.


      After a mean follow-up period of 37.5 months, 42 patients were evaluated. On the DASH scale, there was a statistically significant difference favorable to the patients treated with the arthroscopic technique, but without clinical relevance. There was no difference in the assessments by University of California, Los Angeles and Rowe scales. There was no statistically significant difference regarding complications and failures, as well as range of motion, for the 2 techniques.


      On the basis of this study, the open and arthroscopic techniques were effective in the treatment of traumatic anterior shoulder instability. The arthroscopic technique showed a lower index of functional limitation of the upper limb, as assessed by the DASH questionnaire; this, however, was not clinically relevant.

      Level of Evidence

      Level II, randomized controlled trial.
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