How Much Lengthening Is Achievable in Clavicle Lengthening Surgery?

Q: Dr. Eppley,  I am contacting you about clavicle widening surgery – I have very narrow clavicles that feel tight and cause my shoulders to roll forward. I’m wondering if there’s potential for therapeutic benefit to clavicle lengthening surgery in addition to aesthetic improvements. Also wondering how much lengthening is achievable, long term effects on shoulder health and exercises, cost, and wether you have more before/after photos to share from previous patients.

A:I am not very enthusiastic about clavicle lengthening surgery as it has a variety of issues, the most noteworthy of which is the limitations of lengthening due to the restrictions imposed by the soft tissues of the shoulder. What clavicle lengthening does is push the shoulders out and back. (improving the rolled in appearance) The issue is whether a 15 to 18mm lengthening per side justifies the effort…which is hard to imagine it would for most patients.

Dr. Barry Eppley

World-Renowned Plastic Surgeon