Shoulder labrum tears are common during shoulder dislocations. The shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint and the labrum creates a cup for the ‘ball’ of your upper arm to sit in. This provides a significant amount of stability to your shoulder joint. Hence, the purpose of undergoing a Bankart repair is to repair the torn labrum, restore some degree of stability and reduce the likelihood of future dislocations.
However, the Bankart repair isn’t an instant fix. It marks the start of your journey to return to sport or the activities you enjoy! The ultimate goal of Physiotherapy is to help build up your confidence and ensure that you return to those activities safely.
The following image shows an overview of some milestones you can look forward to in your rehabilitation journey.
Phase 1: Early post-op
Great care should be taken during the initial phase of rehabilitation. Your Physiotherapist may advise you to restrict certain movements to protect the repair and help manage your pain and swelling. However, a variety of passive shoulder exercises can still be done immediately after the operation, to prevent shoulder stiffness. You will also be taught various exercises to maintain the mobility of your wrist and elbow.
Examples of exercise during Phase 1 to improve range of motion:
Phase 2: Intermediate post-op
Once it is safe, you will be exposed to a variety of graded exercises to help you regain full range of motion and strength. While the labral repair restores some degree of static stability in the joint, as mentioned above, shoulder stabilising muscles such as the rotator cuff muscles play a crucial role in providing dynamic stability. Hence, it is crucial to strengthen these muscles and learn to engage them in various movements and tasks.
Examples of exercises in Phase 2:
Phase 3: Strengthening
As you get progressively stronger, your Physiotherapist will be sure to challenge you in various ways. This is to ensure that your shoulder can tolerate the loads of the activities which you are looking to return to. Stability exercises are also included to improve neuromuscular control of your shoulder.
Example of exercises in Phase 3:
Phase 4: Sport-specific training
This phase is crucial to ease you back to sport. By gradually reintroducing sport-specific movements and loads in a safe and controlled environment, your Physiotherapist will be looking to help you build sufficient strength, power and stability for your selected activities. The exercises in this phase can vary significantly depending on the sport(s) you intend to return to.
When am I ready to return to sport?
This will likely be a big question on your mind and the decision to return to sport may seem daunting. OUR Physiotherapists have a list of criteria that they look out for to ensure it is safe for you to do so. Your Physiotherapist will conduct various tests to ensure that you achieve the following:
- Pain free full range of motion
- Muscle strength > 90% of non-injured side
- Muscle power > 90% of non-injured side
- Pass functional assessments
- Closed Kinetic Chain Upper Extremity Stability Test (CKCUEST)
- Y-balance Upper Extremity assessment
Hopefully this provides you with an idea of what your rehabilitation journey could look like. However, your recovery process is unique and other injuries or repairs done during surgery should also be taken into account. Hence, it is important that you seek professional guidance for your rehabilitation.
Book now or give us a call to schedule an appointment to see our Physiotherapist who will be able to partner you to recovery as we address your shoulder pain!
DISCLAIMER: These exercises should not replace the need for a consultation with a Physiotherapist especially if your condition doesn’t improve with these exercises. Your Physiotherapist will choose exercises that suit your specific needs.
Filed under: Shoulder