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Definition of a Bankart Tear

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Updated December 17, 2013

bankart tear shoulder

The shoulder socket is deepened by the labrum--the cartilage injured in a Bankart tear.

Image © Medical Multimedia Group

Definition: A Bankart tear is a specific injury to a part of the shoulder joint called the labrum. The shoulder joint is a ball-and-socket joint, but the socket of the shoulder joint is extremely shallow, and thus inherently unstable. To compensate for the shallow socket, the shoulder joint has a cuff of cartilage called a labrum that forms a cup for the end of the arm bone (humerus) to move within.

When the labrum of the shoulder joint is torn, the stability of the shoulder joint is compromised. A specific type of labral tear is called a Bankart tear, and is due to dislocation of the shoulder causing the tear.

Also Known As: Shoulder Instability, Labral Tear, Torn Cartilage

Common Misspellings: Bankhart Lesion, Bankhardt Lesion, Bankardt Lesion

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