Dupuytren’s contracture is a condition that develops slowly, often over the course of years. Knots of tissue are formed under the layer of tissue that lies under the skin of your palms. Eventually, a thick cord of tissue is created that pulls one or more fingers into a curved or bent position.
People with Dupuytren’s contracture are unable to straighten their fingers completely. That can make it difficult to complete normal daily routines. Some people only experience Dupuytren’s contracture in one hand, while others develop disfiguration in both hands. In most cases, the condition is not painful.
Researchers are unsure what causes the condition, but it is known that Dupuytren’s contracture occurs more often in some demographic groups. Men who are over the age of 40 and are of northern European descent are more likely to develop Dupuytren’s contracture than other groups, although the condition has been noted in women, younger people, and people from other parts of the world.
Scientists have found no connection between Dupuytren’s contracture and any specific occupation or type of occupation. The disease is thought to have a genetic component and is noted to run in families. Consumption of alcohol and tobacco use are believed to lead to an increased risk of Dupuytren’s contracture.
Xiaflex is the first FDA-approved drug for the treatment of Dupuytren’s contracture. It is injected directly into the cord of knotted tissue and requires no general anesthesia.
Xiaflex contains enzymes that break down the collagen that is present in the cord of tissue. By destroying the structure of the cord, the bent fingers are released, allowing your hand to straighten or flatten properly.
In some cases, the cord will break down over a period of 1-3 days after the injection. If it is still present, your surgeon may manipulate your fingers into an extended position to effectively “break” the remaining cord tissue. A local anesthetic may be used during this procedure.
Xiaflex can lead to serious side effects, and it is important to discuss these with your doctor to determine if this treatment approach is right for you. Give them a call, or use the online scheduling, an easy way to find a time for your consultation at South Orange County Orthopaedics, Inc.
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