Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy

, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp 361–364 | Cite as

The dominant nutrient foramen at the clavicular midshaft: an anatomical study

  • Tim LeschingerEmail author
  • Felix Krane
  • Michael Hackl
  • Alexander van Tongel
  • Martin Scaal
  • Lars Peter Müller
  • Kilian Wegmann
Original Article



The aim of the present study was to describe the prevalence and topography of the dominant nutrient foramen at the clavicle.


317 macerated human clavicles (167 right and 150 left) were available for the study. After detecting the dominant nutrient foramen, the total distance from the sternal surface to the examined nutrient foramen was measured. A foramen index (FI) was used for further data processing.


We detected a dominant foramen in 300/317 (94.64%) clavicles, which was located in the middle third in 287/300 (95.7%) clavicles. The average clavicular length was measured at 14.9 cm ± 1.0 cm (range 11.6–17.5 cm) with an average foraminal distance from the sternoclavicular joint surface of 7.9 cm ± 1.3 cm (range 0.9–12.6 cm) in total. The mean FI was 53.2% ± SD 7.4% (range 5.5–79.3%).


The present study provides a topographic mapping of the foraminal area (46–60% of the total clavicular length). The findings help to assess clavicular fracture patterns, which pass through the foraminal area.


Clavicula Fracture Nutrient foramen Blood supply Complication Fracture pattern Non-union Mal-union 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors, their immediate family, and any research foundation with which they are affiliated did not receive any financial payments or other benefits from any commercial entity related to the subject of this article.

Ethical approval

The Ethics Commission of the Faculty of Medicine of Cologne University has approved the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Orthopedic and Trauma SurgeryUniversity Medical CenterCologneGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Anatomy IIUniversity of CologneCologneGermany
  3. 3.Department of Orthopedics and TraumatologyUniversity Hospital GhentGhentBelgium

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