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New Injection Therapy for Severe Dupuytren’s Contracture

Posted on September 9th, 2010

New Injection Therapy, XIAFLEX®, Offers Nonsurgical Relief for Severe Dupuytren’s Contracture.

Patients suffering from debilitating contractures able to resume activity with little down time.

Those suffering from Dupuytren’s Disease often find the severe contractures associated with it to be debilitating obstacles to many of the activities they enjoy – and often in their professions as well.

Dupuytren’s Disease is a thickening of the tissue (fascia) in the hand slightly beneath the skin. This thickening can cause lumps and pits in the palm of the hand and on the finger knuckles and in severe cases cords (primarily comprised of collagen),which pull the fingers inward towards the palm. This is known as Dupuytren’s Contracture.

While the exact cause of Dupuytren’s Disease is unknown, it is commonly seen in men over the age of 40 and may grow progressively worse if not addressed. While generally painless, symptoms may begin with lumps in the palm of the hand and progress to thick cords spreading from the palm outward to the fingers – most commonly the ring and little fingers. These thickening cords gradually pull the fingers inward towards the palm, hindering hand function.

Traditionally, surgery to release the thick, tight cord was required in order to address severe contractures and restore hand function. More recently a minimally invasive procedure known as a Percutaneous Needle Fasciotomy (PNF), also known as Needle Aponeurotomy (NA), reduced recovery time and proved an effective alternative.

Now, a new nonsurgical treatment known as XIAFLEX injection therapy is an alternative for some patients. This new therapy is the first nonsurgical treatment FDA-approved for use in the United States and offered by only a few hand specialists in Houston. The treatment is proving effective in restoring hand function and relieving symptoms of Dupuytren’s Contracture for qualifying patients.

A prescription medicine, which contains a mixture of proteins, XIAFLEX, is injected into the cord by a physician who specializes in Dupuytren’s Disease. It helps to break down the thick cord by breaking down the collagen in the cord.

In Part 2 of our discussion, we’ll discuss who is a good candidate for XIAFLEX and commonly asked questions regarding the procedure and recovery.