Clavicular Malignancies: A Borderline Surgical Management

Medicina (Kaunas). 2022 Jul 8;58(7):910. doi: 10.3390/medicina58070910.


Nearly 1% of all bone cancers are primary clavicular tumors and because of their rarity, treating clinicians are unfamiliar with their diagnosis, classification, treatment options, and prognosis. In terms of preserving function and avoiding complications, clavicle reconstruction seems logical; however, further studies are needed to support this measure. Reconstruction techniques are difficult taking into account the anatomical structures surrounding the clavicle. When chest wall defects are present, a multidisciplinary team, including an orthopedist and thoracic and plastic surgeons, is of paramount importance for optimal surgical management. Malignant clavicle tumors may include primary and secondary malignancies and neighboring tumors with clavicular invasion. Surgical resection of complex thoracic tumors invading the clavicles can result in larger defects, requiring chest wall reconstruction, which is a substantial challenge for surgeons. Correct diagnosis with proper preoperative planning is essential for limiting complications. Post-resection reconstruction of the partial or total claviculectomy is important for several reasons, including maintaining the biomechanics of the scapular girdle, protecting the vessels and nerves, reducing pain, and maintaining the anatomical appearance of the shoulder. The chest wall resection and reconstruction techniques can involve either partial or full chest wall thickness, influencing the choice of reconstructive technique and materials. In the present paper, we aimed to synthesize the anatomical and physiopathological aspects and the small number of therapeutic surgical options that are currently available for these patients.

Keywords: clavicular malignancies; clavicular metastasis; clavicular resection and reconstruction; claviculectomy; complex thoracic tumors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Clavicle / pathology
  • Clavicle / surgery
  • Humans
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures* / methods
  • Prognosis
  • Thoracic Wall* / surgery

Grant support

This research received no external funding.