Shoulder Labral Tears Surgery (Bankart Lesion and SLAP Lesion)

Bankart lesion (glenoid labral tear) occurs when the shoulder dislocates forward, damaging the lower part of the special cartilage that lines the shoulder socket. It usually occurs as a result of sudden trauma or from underlying shoulder joint instability. Bankart lesion is common among athletes involved in contact sports and repetitive shoulder movements.

Another variation of labral lesion which involves superior labrum of the shoulder is called SLAP lesion. Athletes who are involved in throwing sports are most affected by this condition. In most cases, physical therapy alone can help to restore shoulder stability using strengthening exercises and to prevent further tear of the labral.

Severe Bankart lesion requires surgery to help restore the shoulder function. At MoveFree Physio we provide post-surgical rehabilitation using GLSM Bankart Repair Protocol, which is a criteria-based and soft tissue healing dependent program that gradually help patients return to normal functions and sport-related activities in a safe way.

Phase I (0-6 weeks)

  • No Active ROM for 4 weeks
  • Avoid excessive external rotation and extension.
  • No overhead motions.
  • Active warm-up: Codmans
  • Mobilizations/ ROM
    • Physiologic mobilizations
    • Accessory movements
  • Elbow/ Wrist Active ROM
  • Therapeutic exercises:
    • Wrist/ Hand exercises
    • Isometric shoulder flexion, abduction, extension 4-6 weeks
    • Side-lying External rotation (ER) to neutral
    • 5 weeks submax rhythmic stabilization

Phase II (6-12 weeks)

  • Active warm-up
  • Heat in stretch
  • Mobilization/ROM exercises
  • Therapeutic exercises:
    • Scapuloathoracic
    • GH exercises
    • Isotonic IR/ER in scapula position
    • Side-lying ER
    • Total arm strengthening
    • PNF exercises

Phase III (12 weeks+)

  • Scapulothoracic (Moseley)
  • GH exercises (Townsend)
  • Isotonic IR/ER
  • Isokinetic IR/ER
  • Prone strengthening exerises


  • 20-24 weeks isokinetic
  • IR/ER test

Return to Work/Sport

  • No Pain + Full ROM
  • Isokinetic Test – 90º
  • Functional Testing – 90%
  • Doctor approval