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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 June, 2003, 12:35 GMT 13:35 UK
Bone op first claimed by surgeons
Tim Baggaley
Tim Baggaley says the operation has changed his life
Doctors have fitted an artificial collar bone to a patient in what they claim is the first operation of its kind.

The unbreakable metal 'bone', along with artificial ligaments, was fitted to Tim Baggaley who was in a serious motorbike accident two years ago.

Specialists believe the technology could help others who have complex fractures of the collar bone, or even people who do not have a collar bone at all because they were born with a disorder called cleido-cranial dysplasia.

Mr Baggaley's left collar bone, or clavicle, was shattered in his accident and his left arm had to be amputated.

He was unable to lie on his left side at night and his damaged collar bone made it difficult for him to wear an artificial arm.

I love my dancing and I feel much more confident with the new clavicle
Tim Baggaley
Since he had the artificial clavicle was fitted, in an operation at Nottingham City Hospital he has been able to lie on his side and use a prosthetic arm.

The operation should mean Mr Baggaley, 38, from Redhill in Surrey, can take up sports again.


His operation was carried out by surgeons from the Nottingham Shoulder and Elbow Unit at the hospital.

Four UK companies, Biomet, Ellis Developments, Pearsalls and Surgicraft, specialising in medical implant and bio-engineering techniques, were involved in designing the implant.

Artificial collar bone
An artificial collar bone of the kind used in the procedure
Biomet used CT scans and anatomical data to generate computer images of the artificial collar bone. The whole process took four months.

Ellis Developments, Pearsalls and Surgicraft prepared the unique artificial ligaments which would fix the collar bone to the breastbone and shoulder blade.

The operation took place in May this year.

Ballroom dancer

Mr Baggaley has now returned to work as a writer, graphic designer and an actor. He recently appeared in the BBC1 series 'Strange'.

He has also been able to take up his sporting hobbies again, including dancing, fencing, motorsports, badminton and swimming.

He said: "The passive support the clavicle gives my shoulder means it no longer falls forward.

"This makes it more stable and comfortable during my dancing and sport and when I am sleeping."

Mr Baggaley added: "I have been a ballroom dancer for five years and the shoulders are important for leading.

"Posture and confidence are so essential in ballroom dancing, and the artificial collar bone has restored my shoulder shape to level me up and my suits now hang better.

"This is one of the most important things for me. I love my dancing and I feel much more confident with the new clavicle."

Professor Angus Wallace, who is one of three shoulder and elbow consultants in the unit, said: "Advances in modern surgery can only occur through collaboration between the surgeon and those companies which provide the implants with which he or she works.

"This success is a reflection of the great collaboration which the Shoulder and Elbow Unit in Nottingham has had with a number of innovative UK companies."

The BBC's Gill Higgins
"It's hoped the ligaments will last a lifetime"

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