Can Clavicle Lengthening Be Done at 3cms On Each Side?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I’m very interested in clavicle lengthening. I have extremely narrow shoulders to the point where they rest in a rolled position (because of the imbalance) I’m curious if 3cm on each clavicle is possible? 2cm honestly wouldn’t be worth the surgery and money in my case. Just hoping for the best possible result. 

A: In clavicular lengthening the need for an interpositional bone graft is needed. Most commonly this is done using allogeneic or cadaveric clavicle or fibular bone ‘dowels’ because they are circular in cross-section and provide the best surface area fit/contact with the cut clavicle bone on each side. Healing is done by bone growth into the interpositional graft using it as a substrate. This is a slow process that can take several months to occur. Obviously the longer the interpositional graft is (amount of clavicular lengthening) the longer this process takes to occur. If one can accept the longer healing period 3cms of lengthening can be done.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana