Can Clavicle Lengthening for Shoulder Widening Be Done Twice?

Q: Dr. Eppley: I understand that with this type of osteotomy, the shoulder broadening effect is capped at about two inches.

Would undergoing this procedure now mean that I am unable to undergo any further broadening of the clavicle later in life as the technology progresses?

As an extension to that, can the surgery be undergone twice? Is the broadening effect capped at two inches at a time, or two inches total?

A: Your question is a good one but there is not a known answer because it has never been done or requested. You are correct in that clavicular lengthening is done at 2 cms per side due to the need to have bone grow across this bone grafted site. Once healed it would be fair to assume that further lengthen could be done later but I can not verify that based on personal experience. But you are also correct in that technology will advance and there is no reason not to  believe that larger and secondary clavicle lengthening procedure will be done in the future as the technology advances.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana