Following an Arthroscopic Bankart Repair the sling is worn for 6 weeks following surgery. It can be taken off for a shower and is otherwise worn all the time including when sleeping. The reason for the sling is that the surgery places the cartilage and bone in contact in order to allow healing to occur. For strong healing to occur there needs to be as little movement as possible. If strong healing doesn’t occur between the repaired cartilage and the bone the repair will fail. The immobilisation in the sling helps to limit movement that would prevent the repair from healing or tear it apart before healing can occur.
You will normally return for a postop visit at 6 weeks and 12 weeks postop. A two-week visit may be scheduled and is to check that everything is progressing well and to help you with the exercises and looking after your shoulder. At 6 weeks we remove the sling and start the next phase of the rehabilitation. This is to regain the range of movement in your shoulder and to give you light exercises to do to strengthen the muscles around your shoulder. At 12 weeks we start the functional phase of the rehabilitation to return you to sport and work. The aim is to have a return to normal sporting activity at 4 to 6 months postop.