Arthur Sidney Blundell Bankart was the son of a surgeon in Exeter. He was educated at Rugby School and Trinity College, Cambridge. Guy's Hospital provided not only his basic medical education but his postgraduate training as well. Qualifying in 1906, he became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1909. At this time he became the first surgical registrar at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, which had formed that year by the amalgamation of three older orthopedic hospitals. He was greatly influenced by his work with Arbuthnot Lane who at that time was developing his no touch technique for operations on fractures. As befitted a student of Lane, Bankart became a consummate technician and prided himself on doing a long schedule of operations quickly and expeditiously. Although his major interest was in orthopedic surgery, he did a great deal of neurosurgery, particularly spinal operations, until very late in his career. He carried a heavy load during World War I and was recruited by Robert Jones to help at the hospital at Sheperd's Bush when it opened.
Following World War I, Bankart concentrated his work at Middlesex Hospital where he was its first orthopedic surgeon. He struggled there for a long time to develop the orthopedic and fracture services. World War II delayed his retirement because, with the younger staff all in the service, he again had to shoulder a heavy clinical load. Bankart was a founding member of the British Orthopaedic Association and served as its secretary and as its president. Among the subjects which caught his interest was manipulative therapy. He followed the work of Sir Herbert Barker, the well known bonesetter, and later published a book on manipulative therapy.
He first described his operation for recurrent dislocation of the shoulder in 1923.1 This report identified the cause of the instability of the shoulder as the tearing of the fibrocartilagenous origin of the capsule from the glenoid, i.e., “the Bankart lesion”. His second report on his operation was made 15 years later.2 It is interesting to note that his entire experience with the operation up to that time had been limited to only 27 patients, all of whom “recovered full movement of the joint, and in no case has there been any recurrence of the dislocation.”