An arthroscopic bankart repair is a minimally-invasive procedure offered at Mattalino Orthopaedic in Phoenix, AZ. It is often recommended for people concerned about the frequency at which their shoulder dislocates. Today, we’re looking at how long you can expect the recovery process to take, what you can do to speed it up, and more. If you’ve been unsuccessful with conservative treatments, read on to find out if this procedure is right for you.
How Long Does It Take Bankart Repair to Heal?
As a very general rule, you can expect recovery from an arthroscopic bankart repair to take between three and 12 months to complete. Most people regain full use of their arms after no more than six months. That said, it is not unheard of for a full recovery to take a year. One of the most significant factors affecting how long your recovery will take is how well you care for yourself after the repair.
What Post-Op Follow-Up Visits Will Be Required?
You should plan to attend a checkup roughly seven to 10 days after your procedure. During this visit, your stitches will be removed. You will probably also be approved to schedule your first physical therapy session during this visit. Other post-op checkups can be expected to occur six, 12, and 24 weeks post-op.
Will I Have to Wear a Sling After Surgery?
Yes, you will be required to wear a sling after your bankart repair. You can remove it while you are doing your physical therapy exercises or bathing or showering. However, it is highly advisable that those are the only cases during which you take your sling off for the first 14 days post-op.
After the first two weeks post-op, you may remove your sling under most circumstances during the day. However, you will still need to wear it when you are going to be in a crowded area for at least 28 days post-op. Furthermore, you should expect to wear your sling for the first 28 days post-op.
What Can I Do to Speed Up My Recovery Process?
To heal from an arthroscopic bankart repair as quickly as possible, you must be able to put yourself first for a while. You should get plenty of rest. Plan to dedicate nine to 10 hours per day to sleep depending on how long it takes you to fall asleep at night. The more consecutive sleep you get, the more healing REM sleep you get.
When you sleep, you may want to use a pillow under your arm to prop up your shoulder and keep your arm away from your body a bit. Also, do not be surprised if you feel the most comfortable propped up for a little while. You may find that for a short period post-op you can sleep best in a recliner or propped up in bed. Moreover, you should note that you will not be able to sleep on the shoulder that was operated on for no fewer than six weeks post-op.
What Should I Eat After My Procedure?
It is also very important that you eat nutritiously during your recovery period. Getting your recommended daily allowance of vitamin C and lots of bioavailable protein will help your skin heal itself. Furthermore, to help your recovery go as quickly and smoothly as possible, you should make sure that you stay hydrated. Try to drink at least half a gallon of hydrating fluids each day. If you drink that much and your urine is dark, drink more or eat water-dense foods.
What Physical Therapy Exercises Will I Need to Do?
The physical therapy exercises you will be expected to complete depend on how far along you are in your recovery process. We’ll give you a general overview now. However, you will be given a comprehensive plan designed by your physical therapist that is tailored to your unique situation after your procedure. Note, there are two phases of shoulder stretches. The first phase is sometimes referred to as the passive range of motion phase.
During this phase, your operated arm will be assisted by your uninjured arm. The second phase is sometimes referred to as the active range of motion phase. During this phase, you will need to perform terminal stretches. Terminal stretches involve stretching until you feel uncomfortable, then using your uninjured hand to push the operated arm a further five to 10 degrees. The more time you spend doing terminal stretches, the faster you will restore your range of motion.
What to Expect Two to Five Weeks Post-Op
From 14 days post-op to 35 days post-op, you should stretch passively four to five times per day for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. To ensure maximum soft connective tissue and muscle involvement, make sure you stretch slowly. One of the most important exercises for you to do is pendulum exercises. You should complete one or two sets of 20 to 30 reps per day. It is also important that you do supine external rotations.
During the second week post-op, you should limit your range of motion to 0 degrees (straight up). It is generally advisable to complete one to two sets of 10 to 15 reps per day. During weeks three through five post-ops, you should complete the same number of sets and reps of supine external rotations, but your range of motion can be extended up to 30 degrees. You may also do supine forward arm elevation exercises. Behind the back, internal rotation is allowable three weeks post-op.
What to Expect Five to Eight Weeks Post-Op
There are three goals you should keep in mind during this phase of the recovery process. The first goal is to protect the shoulder. Do not overstress the repair. The second goal is to improve the shoulder’s range of motion. The third goal is to start strengthening the shoulder. During this phase of the recovery process, you should expect to do physical therapy exercises three to four times daily, seven days per week.
You should not be surprised if you are asked to continue performing such passive movements as pendulum exercises and supine external rotation. You also should not be surprised if you are asked to perform such exercises as seated-standing arm elevation, standing external rotation, or supine passive arm elevation.
What to Expect Eight to 10 Weeks Post-Op
There are three goals during this phase of the recovery process, too. The primary objective is to protect the shoulder repair. The secondary objective is to restore your complete range of motion. The tertiary objective is to continue strengthening your shoulder. During this phase of the recovery process, you can use your operated arm in a relatively normal manner. You may even be able to externally rotate your arm and put it behind your back.
However, there are still restrictions you should keep in mind. For example, you should avoid lifting heavy weights above and behind your head. Any weight you lift should remain in your line of sight at all times. You should anticipate performing physical therapy exercises once or twice per day, seven days per week during this phase of the recovery process.
What Stretches You Can Expect to Perform
To reiterate, the stretches and exercises you should perform will be determined by your physical therapist in the Phoenix, AZ area and tailored to your unique situation. You can generally expect to perform such stretches as:
- Pendulum exercises
- Wall climb stretches
- Behind the back internal rotation
Is an Arthroscopic Bankart Repair Right for Me?
To find out whether you’re a good candidate for an arthroscopic bankart repair in Phoenix, AZ, you need to attend an initial evaluation with an orthopedic surgeon. Typically, candidates for surgery are considered after they have tried more conservative treatment methods. To verify your candidacy, though, you will need to undergo a physical examination, evaluation of bone loss, a thorough discussion of your medical history, and other steps.
Schedule Your Initial Consultation in Phoenix, AZ Today
Most people can achieve a full recovery after arthroscopic bankart repair in just three to six months. However, there are cases where a full recovery took 12 months to achieve. The better you care for yourself after your procedure, the sooner your recovery should be complete. If you think this procedure could benefit you, contact us today at Mattalino Orthopaedic in Phoenix, AZ to schedule your initial consultation. We will tailor the ideal treatment plan for your unique needs.