Non-surgical treatment of Dupuytren's disease


What is Dupuytren's disease?
Dupuytren's disease (or condition) is a common condition and usually affects the hand.  When Dupuytren's disease develops in the hand, the gristle under the skin on the palm of the hand becomes thickened and contracts pulling the fingers into a rolled-up position. With the finger stuck in a bent position the function of the hand is compromised.

What causes it?
Factors like excessive alcohol, smoking, diabetes and epilepsy predispose to the development of the disease. In the vast majority of patients we do not know why they develop the disease, but is probably inherited to some extent. The ring finger is most commonly affected followed by the small, middle, thumb and index finger.

Non-surgical treatment of Dupuytren’s
More recently it has become possible to treat Dupuytren's without surgery by injecting an enzyme into the thickened cords. This is followed by careful manipulation and stretching of the finger under local anaesthetic. The enzyme is collagenase Clostridium Histolyticum. This treatment is new in the UK and is set to revolutionize the way Dupuytren's has been treated so far.

How will the treatment be given?
When you attend the clinic you will be assessed by one of our trained Consultants.  If your hand condition is appropriate for this type of treatment you will be offered the new enzyme injection. In some cases surgery for Dupuytren's disease will still be required.

The injection will be administered by the Consultants who are specially trained in the use of collagenase enzyme injections. Once the injection is administered you will be allowed to go home. You will be requested to return to clinic the following day by which time the injection will have broken down the collagen in the cord of your finger.

A local anaesthetic will be administered enabling manipulation of the finger to take place. Once your finger has been straightened you might have to wear a bespoke splint for you to hold the finger in the straightened position until healing is completed. The injection is relatively pain free, but you may find it necessary to take some pain relief. It is expected that you will be able to return to normal light activity soon after the procedure.

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