Xiaflex Injections Treat Dupuytren’s Contracture Without Surgery
Dupuytren’s disease -also known as Dupuytren’s Contracture – is a surprisingly common genetic condition, in which one or more fingers become stiff and bent if left untreated. Dupuytren’s Contracture is believed to affect up to 5% of all adults in the United States.
In the past, the only technique for treating Dupuytren’s Contracture was surgery – which many people wished to avoid. But, thanks to advancements in modern medicine, there is now a medication that can be injected into the hand to treat Dupuytren’s disease.
In this article renowned Detroit area hand surgeon Dr. Uzma Rehman discusses this condition, and explains how the relatively new injectable treatment for Dupuytren’s Contracture can help you avoid surgery.
What is Dupuytren’s Contracture?
Dupuytren’s Contracture causes the normally smooth sheet of tissue that lies underneath the skin of the palm and fingers to gradually become nodular and cordlike overtime. As this tissue stiffens and thickens, the fingers become increasingly bent, stiff and “contracted”. The bend in the fingers can become quite severe and interfere with mobility, impact motor skills, and compromise the ability to use the hand. Symptoms may include the inability to flatten the palm on a flat surface, being unable to shake hands or put on gloves, and even the inability to reach your hand into a pocket, purse, or container.
This disease most commonly affects the ring and small fingers, and can affect one or both hands. In addition to limiting use of the hand, Dupuytren’s Contracture also results in a noticeably “disfigured” appearance of the hand over time, which some people find embarrassing.
Because this condition develops slowly and has similar effects as arthritis or tendinitis, it is often misdiagnosed or mistaken for other conditions. But when the fingers become extremely bent enough treatment is usually required.
Traditional Treatment for Dupuytren’s Contracture
Mild cases of Dupuytren’s contracture that do not have much effect on hand function may not require any treatment and can simply be monitored through regular checkups. But more severe cases may require treatment by a hand specialist.
For decades, surgery was the only option to treat Dupuytren’s Contracture. Surgical interventiom involves removing the diseased cords that are causing the finger(s) to contract. While surgery is usually very successful at eliminates Dupuytren’s contracture, recovery after the surgery may take 6 weeks to three or more months. Extensive physical therapy to regain use of the fingers and hand is also generally needed for a long period of time after surgery for Dupuytren’s disease.
Since any surgery comes with risks, and because the recovery period is quite extended, many people are reluctant to pursue surgical treatment
New Xiaflex for Dupuytren’s Contracture
The great news is that a relatively new medication called Xiaflex was approved by the FDA for non-surgically treating Dupuytren’s contracture in the last decade. Xiaflex is a medication, based in an enzyme base, that is injected into the diseased “cord(s)” in the affected area(s). Xiaflex “breaks down” the diseased tissue, which allows the finger to be easily straightened.
The day after the Xiaflex is injected, your hand doctor will administer a shot of local anesthetic into the area. Then she will manipulate the finger into a straight position and fit the finger with a splint. The splint typically only needs to be worn at bedtime for 4 months or less. You will also be given finger exercises to perform at home daily.
In clinical studies it has been shown that prescription XIAFLEX® medication is combined with finger extension procedure by a specialized hand doctor, it can straighten the affected finger(s) and improve range of motion after just 1 to 3 injections.
Since 2010, it is estimated that more than 150,000 patients with Dupuytren’s contracture have been successfully treated with Xiaflex!
Xiaflex for Dupuytren’s Contracture | Macomb County
If you or a loved one is struggling with Dupuytren’s disease, make an appointment with Macomb County hand specialist Dr. Uzma Rehman to exciting non-surgical Xiaflex treatment of Dupuytren’s contracture.
She has helped hundreds of patients across Oakland and Macomb County start living a normal daily life again, with an incredible increase in hand mobility and function, thanks to new Xiaflex – without a trip surgery and without frequent trips to an occupational therapist.