Dupuytren’s Contracture can best be described as a painless disorder in which fingers of the hand gradually bend in toward the palm and cannot be fully extended. It is caused by the progressive thickening of a ligament (forming rope-like cords) which shortens over time and prevents affected fingers from fully straightening. The rate of progression noted in patients with Dupuytren’s varies, however it often develops into a debilitating condition resulting in deformity and loss of hand function.
The specific cause of the disorder is unknown, although it may be genetic in nature. Occurring more commonly after the age of 40, it may also be associated with diabetic conditions or suffering from seizures. There is also no evidence connecting the condition with occupational trauma.
Until recently, patients needed to undergo surgery to correct Dupuytren’s and restore their fingers’ normal range of motion. The need existed for a less invasive procedure that would restore mobility and provide immediate improvement in patients.
Hand specialists at Atlantic Orthopaedic Specialists have been very pleased with results seen in patients recently treated with a new, FDA approved treatment for this condition. Xiaflex ® is a collagenase (enzyme) medication that breaks down the scarred, thickened tissue in the hand. Xiaflex ® therapy involves injecting the thickened cord, and the next day patients are seen again by the physician to pop the cord and straighten out the finger.
Drs. Paul N. Krop, Samuel C. Kline and Chad R. Manke at Atlantic Orthopaedic Specialists are currently seeing and treating patients with this condition. If you feel that you may have symptoms of Dupuytren’s Contracture and would like to be seen, please contact the Patient Appointment Line at (757) 321-3360.