Collagenase injection (Xiapex / Xiaflex [US trade name])
is an exciting new treatment for Dupuytren's contracture. Collagenase is an enzyme that is injected into the thickened band of tissue to break
it down. The treatment is done in clinic, and involves two stages; the first stage is the injection which weakens the tight band, the second
stage (performed the next day) involves firmly stretching the finger to break the band and straighten the finger. The second stage is done
in clinic with local anaesthetic injections first. Xiapex is not suitable for all cases of Dupuytren's contracture; I will discuss the
options with you after careful assessment.
Dupuytren's disease is a common hand condition where lumps or thick bands develop in the palm and fingers. Contractures of the fingers
may develop (the fingers will not straighten fully) and this makes using the hand difficult. Pain is uncommon in Dupuytren's disease.
The condition is more common in men, and particularly affects people from the white northern European racial group. Dupuytren's disease
is more common in diabetic people and is occasionally associated with some other medical problems. More often than not there is no
medical cause for Dupuytren’s disease. Dupuytren's disease does run in families, particularly on the male side.
recommended particularly when there is a contracture of a finger that is starting to cause difficulty using the hand,
for example the finger may catch on things. The most 'minimal' treatment is a needle fasciotomy, performed in the clinic under local
anaesthetic, where a tight band of diseased tissue is simply divided. This is done without any incisions – the point of a needle is
used. This is a good treatment for early disease and has the advantage of a quick recovery, there are no incisions and no stitches.
Needle fasciotomy is suitable when the contracture is affecting the joint at the base of the finger but is not usually advised where
the joints in the finger itself are involved. For more advanced disease surgical treatment is often recommended; this is called
fasciectomy. In the fasciectomy operation, the diseased tissue is removed. This operation is done under general anaesthetic as a day
case procedure. Dupuytren's disease can recur, and in these cases a somewhat more complicated procedure where the tight band of tissue
and the overlying skin are excised; this is called dermofasciectomy and involves a patch of skin graft.
Xiapex (collagenase injection) is a new treatment for Dupuytren's contracture. Xiapex is an enzyme that breaks down collagen
(the substance that the tight bands of tissue consist of). Xiapex injections are performed in clinic.
For further information on Xiapex, please click here.