Osteologic exploration of the clavicle: a new approach

Publication Type:

Journal Article


The FASEB Journal, Volume 23 (2009)


Introduction Clavicles have a complex osteologic structure which makes a morphometric analysis extremely difficult. Our analysis shows the exact measurements and variations of the clavicle.

Materials and Methods 90 clavicles were dissected, CAT scanned and reconstructed. All measurements were automatically performed. The length and curvatures were calculated around the central line and for each cross-section the average, sagittal and axial diameter was calculated.

Results The average length is 163±11 mm. For the length, there is a 9% difference between the gender and 1.2% between the left and right clavicle. Between the genders there is a volume difference of 36%. The extremities show the biggest diameter, this decrease as approaching to the inflexion point, which is the smallest average diameter. In the axial view the acromial curvature is shorter and more curved than the sternal one. In males, the maximum acromial curvature has a difference of 18% and the maximum sternal curvature a difference of 4% compared with the females. In the coronal view there is a concave curvature with a maximum of 6 mm. In females the acromial end bends more posteroinferiorly.

Discussion This is the first 3D analysis performed on the clavicle. Females have a smaller clavicle with a shorter and less curved acromial curvature and a posteroinferior bending. The right clavicle is slightly shorter, thicker and more robust.

Research area: