Does Shoulder Widening Surgery By Clavicular Lengthening Widen the Scapula as Well?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in shoulder widening surgery by lengthening the clavicle bone. How does the scapula move after the procedure and how much change can there be in shoulder width. 

About the widening, does the scapula widen in conjunction with the clavicle ? Does the bi-deltoid width increase and by how much? Also why is there such little research on this topic across the internet.

A: The scapula moves normally since the AC joint is not involved in the clavicular bony lengthening.

A 2 cm mid-clavicular osteotomy and interpositoinal bone graft is done roughy increasing shoulder width almost 1 inch per side.

The scapula bone does not widen per se, its angulation changes slightly to accommodate the change in the lateral clavicular and AC joint positions.

There is an an approximate 80% correlation between the linear lengthening of the clavicle and the increase in the outer contour of the deltoid soft tissues. Thus about 2 cms per side.

Clavicular lengthening surgery is a rare aesthetic treatment for shoulder widening given that there are already two other treatments methods which are less invasive. (fat injections and deltoid implants) Thus it is rarely requested and is done by very few surgeons around the world leading to a paucity of any information about it.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana