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Shockwave Therapy: Effective for Midshaft Clavicle Nonunion

Shockwave Therapy: Effective for Midshaft Clavicle Nonunion


Title of Study: Low-intensity extracorporeal shock wave therapy for midshaft clavicular delayed union: A case report and review of literature

Authors: Lei Yue, Hao Chen, Tian-Hao Feng, Rui Wang, Hao-Lin Sun

The study introduces a significant advancement in medical treatment for a common complication arising from midshaft clavicle fractures – delayed union or nonunion, where the bone fails to heal properly following surgery. This new approach involves Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT), specifically its low-intensity variant (LI-ESWT). LI-ESWT is gaining attention for its potential to stimulate bone healing without the risks associated with additional surgery.

Traditionally, nonunion of the clavicle, a situation where the broken parts of the bone don’t heal together as expected, has posed a challenge in post-operative care. This complication often necessitates further surgical intervention, bringing inherent risks and complications. LI-ESWT emerges as a non-invasive alternative, offering a promising solution by safely promoting bone healing.

The study showcases the effectiveness of LI-ESWT through the case of a 66-year-old Chinese amateur cyclist who suffered from a delayed union of the clavicle. He was treated with 10 sessions of LI-ESWT. This treatment involved administering low-intensity radial shock waves (0.057 mJ/mm2) at a frequency of 3 Hz, amounting to 3000 shocks per session. Notably, this procedure required no anesthetics and was free from side effects.

The patient’s progress was meticulously monitored, with follow-ups at 4 months and 7 months post-treatment. The outcomes were remarkable. At the 4-month mark, the patient exhibited clinical recovery, showing significant improvements in symptoms and functional ability. By the 7-month follow-up, radiographical evidence confirmed the healing of the bone, as seen in imaging tests.

In conclusion, this study underscores LI-ESWT as an innovative and effective treatment for midshaft clavicular delayed union. It represents a significant step forward in non-surgical treatment options, reducing the need for additional surgeries and their associated risks, while effectively facilitating bone healing. This method holds great promise for patients experiencing post-surgical complications in bone healing.

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