Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Shoulder FAQ


I'm a West Point cadet with a torn shoulder labrum in need of surgery. The doctors have told me about open versus closed methods of repair. Which is best to get me back to full speed ahead?


There are plusses and minuses for both operations. Closed surgery with an arthroscope is less invasive. There's a reduced risk of getting osteoarthritis in that shoulder later.

The down side of the closed repair is a higher rate of recurrent dislocations or subluxations (partial dislocation). Researchers report about seven to 17 percent of the closed cases have this problem. Only three to five percent of the open repairs partially or fully dislocate.

Many surgeons advise using the closed repair for young patients or extremely active patients. It sounds like you might be in this group. Your surgeon will probably make a recommendation for you based on your age, the injury, and your goals for rehab.

Conrad Wang, MD, et al. Arthroscopic Versus Open Bankart Repair: Analysis of Patient Subjective Outcome and Cost. In Arthroscopy. October 2005. Vol. 21. No. 10. Pp. 1219-1222.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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