Current Osteoporosis Reports

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 155–168 | Cite as

Clinical and Research Approaches to Treat Non-union Fracture

  • Claudia Schlundt
  • Christian H. Bucher
  • Serafeim Tsitsilonis
  • Hanna Schell
  • Georg N. Duda
  • Katharina Schmidt-Bleek
Orthopedic Management of Fractures (S Bukata and L Gerstenfeld, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Orthopedic Management of Fractures


Purpose of Review

Impaired healing outcomes or even non-unions after bone injury are still a highly relevant problem in the daily clinical life. Especially within an aging population, the occurrence of bone fractures increases and thus novel treatment approaches to overcome compromised bone regeneration are needed.

Recent Findings

The gold standard to treat delayed or non-healing bone injuries is still the use of autologous bone grafts to foster regeneration. Besides its successful treatment outcome, it also has disadvantages: a second surgery is needed in order to harvest the bone material and the material is highly limited. Looking into the recent literature, a multitude of different research approaches were already conducted to identify new possible strategies to treat impaired bone regeneration: application of mesenchymal stromal cells, platelet lysates, growth factors, interference in the immune system, or bone formation stimulation by ultrasound.


This review gives an overview of the treatment approaches actually performed in the clinic as well as at the bench in the context of compromised bone healing. It clearly highlights the complexity of the nature of non-healing bone fractures as well as patient-dependent factors influencing the healing process.


Bone fracture healing Non-union Compromised healing Autologous bone graft Cell therapy Immune therapy 


Funding Information

Funding was provided by the DFG FOR2165 and the Berlin-Brandenburg School for Regenerative Therapies.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as:• of importance•• of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claudia Schlundt
    • 1
    • 2
  • Christian H. Bucher
    • 1
    • 2
  • Serafeim Tsitsilonis
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hanna Schell
    • 1
  • Georg N. Duda
    • 1
    • 2
  • Katharina Schmidt-Bleek
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Julius Wolff Institut and Center for Musculoskeletal SurgeryCharité-Universitätsmedizin BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Berlin-Brandenburg Center for Regenerative TherapiesCharité-Universitätsmedizin BerlinBerlinGermany

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