Collagenase Dupuytren Contracture: Achieving Single Treatment Success with a Hand Therapist-Based Protocol

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Abstract

Background:

Surgery remains the gold standard in the treatment of Dupuytren contracture but is technically demanding, carries significant risk of complications, and requires prolonged recovery time. Collagenase injection is an efficacious alternative to surgery; however, contracture release often requires multiple treatments spaced a month apart. We report our experience with a new collagenase treatment protocol aimed to minimize the total treatment time per joint contracture.

Methods:

We performed a single institution retrospective review of patients with Dupuytren contracture treated with collagenase using our protocol from 2011 to 2013. Patients returned 24 hours after collagenase injection for cord manipulation by a certified hand therapist while under digital block. Treatment success was defined as reduction in contracture to 5 degrees or less. Successfully treated joints were evaluated for recurrence (>10 degrees contracture) at 30-day and 6-month follow-up appointments. Serious adverse events, including skin tears, were recorded.

Results:

Success was achieved in 36 of 47 treated joints (76.6%) after a single injection. There were 2 recurrences in 32 joints at 30-day follow-up (6.2%) and no recurrences in 17 joints available at 6-month follow-up. Skin tears were the only serious adverse event occurring in 18 of 47 cord ruptures (38.3%). All healed secondarily without complication.

Conclusions:

Our protocol preserves treatment efficacy while maximizing efficiency. Achieving successful cord rupture with a single injection allows earlier return of function, reduced cost of treatment, and increased convenience for the patient. Patients, particularly those with greater contractures, should be counseled regarding the risk of skin tear during cord manipulation.

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