“If a patient with Dupuytren’s disease develops contractures, loss of motion, and is beginning to lose function in the hand as a result, treatment is indicated. There are various forms of treatment available. Traditional treatment has been one form or another of surgical intervention. However, more recently non-surgical options are available. One such option is an enzyme called collagenase that’s purified from a bacteria. Because the abnormal cord in Dupuytren’s disease is comprised of collagen, collagenase, which weakens the collagen molecule, can be injected into the abnormal cord, and that weakening of the cord can allow the cord to be broken. And that allows the finger to straighten. This is a procedure that a hand specialist performs in the office. It’s appropriate for patients with contractures of mild to moderate severity. And it’s been on the market now for about 10 years. Most treatments are in fact successful and lead to improvement and extension of the fingers that are treated.
However, the condition can’t be cured. And we know that non-surgical treatments such as collagenase have a higher incidence of recurrence overall than surgical treatment. Because the enzyme is a non-surgical procedure, it can be performed in the office and it’s less invasive. Many patients prefer to treat their condition non-surgically, even though they know that the likelihood is that it is going to come back after this treatment and they may have to treat it again. This is a discussion to have with your hand surgeon about what the appropriate options are to decide what the best course of action is to treat your Dupuytren’s contracture.”