Fracture non-unions are still a challenging problem in orthopedics. The treatment of non-unions remains highly individualized, complex, and demanding. In most countries the surgical approach with debridement of the non-union gap, anatomical reduction and appropriate osteosynthesis along with autologous bone grafting is considered as the standard of care. One of the very first non-urologic applications of extracorporeal shockwave treatment (ESWT) concerned non-healing fractures. Since the early 1990ties the knowledge of the working mechanism has increased enormously. The purpose of this review article is to demonstrate by peer-reviewed literature in conjunction with our own experiences that ESWT can be an efficient, non-invasive, almost complication-free and cost effective alternative to surgical treatment of non-healing fractures.