Focused high‐energy extracorporeal shockwaves as supplemental treatment in a rabbit model of fracture‐related infection

Focused high‐energy extracorporeal shockwave therapy (fhESWT) is used to improve fracture healing in cases of nonunion. In addition, it has been shown to have direct antibacterial effects. We evaluated fhESWT as an adjunct to conventional treatment in a clinically relevant rabbit model of fracture‐related infection (FRI). A humeral osteotomy in 31 rabbits was fixed with a seven‐hole locking compression plate. FRI was established with a clinical Staphylococcus aureus isolate. After 2 weeks, a revision surgery was performed with debridement, irrigation, and implant retention. Rabbits then received: no further treatment (controls); shockwaves (4000 impulses with 23 kV at days 2 and 6 after revision); systemic antibiotics (rifampin and nafcillin); or the combination of antibiotics and shockwaves.

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