Surgical trends in Bankart repair: an analysis of data from the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery certification examination

Am J Sports Med. 2011 Sep;39(9):1865-9. doi: 10.1177/0363546511406869. Epub 2011 May 31.


Background: Arthroscopic Bankart repair emerged in the 1990s as a minimally invasive alternative to open repair. The optimal technique of surgical stabilization of the unstable glenohumeral joint remains controversial.

Hypothesis: A review of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) data would show a trend toward an increasing number of arthroscopic versus open Bankart procedures.

Study design: Descriptive epidemiology study.

Methods: A query of the ABOS database for all cases of open or arthroscopic Bankart repair from 2003 through 2008 was performed, as the CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) codes for arthroscopic repair were introduced in 2003. All cases coded with CPT codes for arthroscopic Bankart repair (29806) or open Bankart repair (23455) were reviewed. Additional data were obtained on the surgeons (year of procedure, geographic location, fellowship training, subspecialty examination area) as well as the patients (age, gender, follow-up length, complications, objective outcome measures [pain, deformity, function, and satisfaction]).

Results: From 2003 to 2008, a total of 4562 Bankart repair cases were reported, composing 8.6% of the total number of shoulder surgery cases in the ABOS database. From 2003 to 2005, 71.2% of Bankart repairs were arthroscopic, compared with 87.7% between 2006 and 2008 (P < .0001). Surgeons having obtained subspecialty training in sports medicine performed the majority (65.3%) of Bankart repairs. Over the entire period, sports-trained surgeons also performed a higher proportion of arthroscopic repairs (84.1%) compared with surgeons without this training (71.9%) (P < .0001). However, by 2008 both non-fellowship-trained and sports medicine fellowship-trained surgeons performed arthroscopic repair in 90% of cases. Surgeons in the Northeast region performed a significantly greater proportion of arthroscopic Bankart repairs (84.7%) than did surgeons in other regions (78.6%) (P < .0001) from 2003 to 2008. The most commonly reported complications were nerve palsy/injury and dislocation, with a rate of nerve injury of 2.2% in the open group compared to 0.3% in the arthroscopic group (P < .0001), and dislocation rate of 1.2% with open stabilization compared with 0.4% arthroscopically (P = .0039).

Conclusion: Review of the ABOS data shows a trend toward arthroscopic shoulder stabilization over time, with the use of open repair declining. Reported complications were lower overall in the arthroscopic stabilization group when compared with open surgeries.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arthroscopy / adverse effects
  • Arthroscopy / trends*
  • Certification / trends*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / surgery*
  • Male
  • Shoulder / surgery
  • Shoulder Dislocation / etiology
  • Shoulder Dislocation / surgery*
  • Sports Medicine*
  • Treatment Outcome