Will Shoulder Width Reduction Surgery (Clavicle Shortening) Cause Any Problems With Shoulder Movement?

Q: Dr. Eppley, Thanks for doing the imaging on my potential shoulder width reduction procedure. From the picture it looks like so much change. But I have the following questions.

If the clavicle is cut, will there be any backbone issues as I have to always have the shoulders moving forward? Will it not create a structural stress on my back in the future? How will my shoulder blades adjust to this pulling forward? Will it impact my range of motion?

A: As I discussed with your husband at length on the virtual consultation and to answer these questions to you directly:

1) Clavicle shortening of 2.5cms per side does not cause any spine or shoulder joint dysfunction. To potentially create such dysfunction it has been shown that it takes greater than 30% reduction in clavicle length to do so. With an average female clavicle length of around 14cms and a reduction of 2.5cms, this is only an 18% change in clavicle bone length….enough to make a visible difference in shoulder width but not enough to cause shoulder joint dysfunction.

2) The clavicle shortening is 90% horizontal reduction and 10% forward movement. Thus their is a very minimal anterior rotation which does not cause a substantial pulling of the shoulders forward.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana