Anterior instability of the shoulder is a commonly encountered entity in orthopaedic practice. The Bankart procedure is considered by many surgeons to be the treatment of choice for this condition. Despite its widespread popularity, there have been no studies on the long-term outcome of the Bankart procedure as far as we know.Sixty shoulders (fifty-six patients) that had been followed for a minimum of eight years after a Bankart procedure were evaluated for range of motion, stability, and strength according to the data form of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons for examination of the shoulder. The results for the involved shoulder were compared with the findings for the contralateral, normal shoulder. All patients completed a questionnaire regarding the history of the instability of the shoulder, the level of participation in sports before and after the operation, the preoperative and postoperative level of pain, and whether the patient had ever sustained a dislocation that needed reduction by a physician. Information about the current ability of the patient to function at home, at work, and during sports also was requested. In addition, the patients were asked to rate the results of the operation and to indicate whether they would have the same procedure again for the same problem.At a mean of 11.9 years after the operation, the mean loss of external rotation was 12 degrees (range, 0 to 30 degrees) (p < 0.0001). There were no significant differences in forward elevation, abduction, or internal rotation between the involved shoulder and the contralateral, normal shoulder. One patient had crepitus on glenohumeral motion. Fifty-five of the fifty-six patients returned to the occupation that they had had preoperatively, without having to alter their activities. Twenty-eight patients had mild pain with strenuous activity, and one patient had pain at rest. Three patients had a dislocation of the involved shoulder because of a new traumatic event more than three years postoperatively. Fifty-two patients rated the result as good or excellent; three, as fair; and one, as poor. Fifty-four patients said that they would have a Bankart procedure performed again for the same problem.We present a new system for rating the shoulder that emphasizes function and is based specifically on the goals stated by the patients to be most important with regard to the shoulder. Using this system, we found that the Bankart procedure offers an excellent objective long-term outcome with a high degree of patient satisfaction.