Anterior shoulder dislocations are commonly seen in emergency departments. With the recent proliferation of shoulder arthroscopy, the pathoanatomy has been better delineated. Arthroscopic series have confirmed the very high percentage of Bankart lesions (avulsions of the inferior glenohumeral ligament-labral complex), especially in younger patients. A high rate of recurrent dislocation in young patients has been noted in the literature with standard conservative treatment, consisting of immobilization with or without rehabilitation. This high recurrence rate is thought to be due to the Bankart lesion. Recently, investigations with the use of arthroscopic Bankart repairs have shown high success rates in preventing recurrences, with low surgical morbidity. A young, first-time, traumatic anterior dislocation patient should be referred for consideration of possible early arthroscopic Bankart repair, rather than automatically being treated conservatively with immobilization.