Shoulder Width Reduction by Mid-Clavicular Osteotomies

Q: Dr. Eppley, I first heard your name from your TV interview concerning Pixee Fox. I came across you again while googling for information concerning shoulder width reduction by clavicle shortening, and was excited to read your post. I’m very interested in eventually getting this procedure, if it is possible. You mention that it would take an extremely motivated patient to have this surgery – I would like to be that patient, eventually. 

I’ve read a few studies concerning the effects of clavicle shortening on shoulder movement, and my impression (as an layman reader) is that there are very few or no significant changes to shoulder function. Additionally, there are a few pictures online that seem to show some perfectly normal-looking shoulders with shortened clavicles. 

Have you since performed the procedure? Have you learned any further information about it? Is my impression regarding the functional outcome and the effects accurate? Any information is welcome.

Thank you!

A: My limited experience with shoulder width reduction by mid-clavicular ostectomies conforms the following:

1) A motivated patient is one that can accept the incisions over the clavicles to do the procedure and the recovery of having operated on both clavicles at the same time.

2) You are correct in that there are no changes to shoulder function since it is done well medial to the AC joint.

3) With a 2 cm resection of the mid-clavicular bone the shoulder will have a reduction of about 1 inch per side.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana