There has been minimal research regarding the clavicle's growth and its clinical implications in the late adolescent and early adult population. Previous studies have evaluated postnatal clavicle growth to age 18 without analysing growth through the age of secondary ossification center closure. The purpose of this study was (1) to determine clavicle length and age-related growth in males and females from age 12 to 25 years and (2) to specifically analyse clavicle growth in late adolescence. This was a retrospective analysis of chest radiographs in patients aged 12-25 years. The ruler tool was used to measure clavicle length. Mean values were tabulated for each year of age in males (n = 697) and females (n = 672). Mean right clavicle growth significantly increased from age 12 to 25 in both males and females (P < 0.0001). In males, the increase from age 16 to 25 was 17.5 mm, representing 10.6% of total clavicle length (P < 0.0001). In females, the increase from age 14 to 25 was 7.7 mm, representing 5.2% of total clavicle length (P < 0.0001). We found that from skeletal maturity to the closure of the secondary ossification center, growth was 17.5 mm (10.6% of total clavicle length) in males and 7.7 mm (5.2% of total clavicle length) in females. During their growth spurts, the adolescent male and female clavicle have growth potentials very similar to previous studies of radius growth. Understanding these clavicular growth potentials can influence operative vs. nonoperative management decisions by orthopaedic surgeons. Level of evidence: Level III.
- chest radiographs
- measurement precision