A delay or failure to heal is the most common possible complication in clavicle fractures, especially in cases primarily treated conservatively. As the current standard therapy, surgical revision achieves good healing results, but is associated with potential surgery-related complications. Shockwave therapy as a non-invasive therapy shows similar reasonable consolidation rates in the non-union of different localizations, but avoids complications. Compromised clavicle fractures in the middle and lateral third treated with focused high-energy shockwave therapy were compared with those treated with surgical revision (ORIF). In addition, a three-dimensional computer simulation for evaluating the pressure distribution during shockwave application accompanied the clinical study. A comparable healing rate in bony consolidation was achieved in both groups. Significantly fewer complications, however, occurred in the shockwave group. The simulations showed safe application in this instance, particularly in avoiding lung tissue affection. When applied correctly, shockwaves represent a safe and promising therapy option for compromised clavicle fractures in the middle and lateral third.
Keywords: clavicula; compromised fracture healing; regenerative medicine; shockwave therapy.