Traumatic Anterior Instability of the Pediatric Shoulder: A Comparison of Arthroscopic and Open Bankart Repairs

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Arthroscopic and open Bankart repairs have proven efficacy in adults with recurrent anterior shoulder instability. Although studies have included children in their analysis, none have previously compared functional outcomes or redislocation rates between these 2 methodologies for anteroinferior glenoid labrum repair in this young population. We hypothesize that open and arthroscopic Bankart repair in children will have similar functional outcomes and redislocation rates, but differing results from adults treated in a similar manner.


A retrospective chart review was performed on all Bankart repairs performed between 2006 and 2010 at a tertiary care children’s hospital. A shift in treatment modalities occurred in 2008 creating 2 cohorts, open and arthroscopic. Brachial plexus injury, congenital soft-tissue disorder, or incomplete charts were excluded. Demographics, age at surgery, follow-up length, and sport were recorded. Telephone interviews were then performed obtaining the most current QuickDASH (Disability Arm, Shoulder, or Hand), WOSI (Western Ontario Shoulder Instability Index), SF-12 (Short Form 12), SANE (Single Assessment Numeric Evaluation), and verbal pain scores; as well as, inquiring about recurrent dislocation and further surgery.


Ninety-nine children (16.9±1.5 y) were included (28 open, 71 arthroscopic). There were no differences in preoperative demographics. Fifty-one patients completed the questionnaires (11 open, 40 arthroscopic). No significant differences in the outcomes scores were seen between the 2 groups. Of the 99 patients, 21 (21%) had redislocation or secondary surgery; there was no significant difference in failure rate between groups (4 open, 17 arthroscopic). A plotted survival curve demonstrated that the adolescent shoulder undergoing Bankart repair for recurrent traumatic anterior instability has a 2-year survival of 86% and a 5-year survival of only 49%, regardless of technique.


In adolescents, there is no significant difference in functional outcomes or redislocation rates between open and arthroscopic Bankart repair, yet both demonstrate a very high risk of failure in this young, athletic population which contrasts the results in the historic adult population.

Level of Evidence:

Level III—retrospective comparative study.

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