The shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint. Movement of the shoulder occurs between the ball and socket but also between the shoulder blade and the chest wall (scapulothoracic joint).
The ball and socket joint is designed to give a large range of movement to allow you to move your arm and hand. It has a large ball (head of humerus) and a smaller, shallow socket (glenoid). The advantage of this design is that a very large range of movement at the shoulder is possible, the disadvantage however is that the shoulder can become unstable.
Shoulder stability is controlled by both static (still) and dynamic (moving) factors. The dynamic factors are the muscles around the shoulder, which when in perfect balance greatly help to maintain the stability of the ball and socket joint and prevent dislocation.
The important static factors are:
- the ligaments around the shoulder which help hold the bones together
- the rim of cartilage which helps deepen the socket called the glenoid labrum
- the bones of the ball and socket joint itself
Common Shoulder Conditions include:
Anterior Stabilisation (Shoulder dislocation)
Read more about anterior stabilisation
The aim of the operation is to repair the damage to the structural stabilisers of the shoulder. This involves repair of the damaged rim of cartilage and tightening or repair of the over-stretched and damaged ligaments.
This operation may be done either as an open procedure, where a cut is made over the shoulder or with a keyhole (arthroscopic) technique where smaller cuts are made.
The operation is often performed under a light anaesthetic with a regional nerve block, as a day case. Occasionally you may need to stay in hospital overnight.
Restoring the normal anatomy of the shoulder is the most effective way of preventing recurrent instability and improving function. Restoring the anatomy primarily means repairing the torn labrum back to the rim of the glenoid. This is called a Bankart Repair.