Although the efficacy of collagenase clostridium histolyticum (CCH) injections has been demonstrated by randomized clinical trials, the relative effectiveness of CCH remains uncertain. Our aim was to compare the outcomes of CCH with those of percutaneous needle aponeurotomy (PNA) in daily clinical practice.Methods:
We analyzed data from patients undergoing PNA or CCH between 2011 and 2014 at 7 practice sites in the Netherlands. We examined the degree of improvement in contracture and adverse effects at 6–12 weeks after surgery or the last injection. Additionally, we invited patients to complete the Michigan Hand Questionnaire before and at 6–12 months follow-up. To minimize the risk of bias, we used propensity score matching.Results:
Among 130 matched patients (93% Tubiana I or II) undergoing PNA (n = 46) and CCH (n = 84), improvement in contracture was similar: 26 degrees (65% improvement from baseline) for PNA versus 31 degrees (71%) for CCH for affected metacarpophalangeal joints (P = 0.163). This was 16 degrees (50% improvement) versus 17 degrees (42%) for affected proximal interphalangeal joints (P = 0.395), respectively. No serious adverse effects occurred in either of the 2 treatment groups. Of the mild adverse effects, only skin fissures and sensory disturbances were seen in both groups. Through 1-year follow-up, patients reported similar improvements in the overall Michigan Hand Questionnaire score (PNA 5.3 points versus CCH 4.9 points; P = 0.912).Conclusions:
In patients with mild contractures (Tubiana I or II), CCH was as effective as PNA in reducing contractures. Both treatments were safe and improved hand function to a similar extent in daily practice.