Xiapex®

What is Xiapex®?

Xiapex® is a treatment for adults suffering from Dupuytren’s contracture, which is when connective tissue in the palm of the hand stiffens and causes one or more fingers to bend inwards, towards the wrist. Xiapex® is injected directly into the tissue (cord) in the palm to dissolve it so a doctor can manually straighten it.

Man showing palms of his hands

What does Xiapex® treatment involve?

Usually, a doctor will have to see you twice at a clinic to complete this procedure.

During the first appointment, the doctor will assess how well you respond to the treatment. The injection of Xiapex® is carried out and you will need to wait at least half an hour to ensure that an allergic reaction to the medication doesn’t occur. You will need to keep your hand elevated and a doctor or nurse will monitor you.

After a few days, you will return for the second appointment. The doctor will ensure that the injection was successful and will begin the process to straighten your finger. You will lie down, your hand will be cleaned and the palm of your hand will be numbed using local anaesthetic.

The doctor will then straighten your finger out, a procedure known as manipulation, and continue repeating if necessary. Each manipulation takes around 15-20 seconds. The whole procedure should take roughly 20 minutes.

You will then be sent to see a hand therapist who will give you a splint to wear at night time to help keep your finger straight.

Follow up treatment

After 30 days, you will be asked to return to the doctor for a follow-up visit. Your doctor will assess how successful the treatment was and decide if you need any more.

You may need to continue wearing your splint at bedtime for the next couple of months. Should the treatment not reduce the symptoms, you may be able to have up to two more injections. Each should be separated by 30 days.

Aftercare

It’s normally to experience bruising and swelling after the injection which will usually subside after a few weeks.

You should wear the splint and do daily finger exercises as directed by your therapist.

You should contact your doctor immediately if you experience signs of an allergic reaction, a rash, tightness in the throat, dizziness or signs of infection such as a fever.

Possible side-effects

There are some minor side effects at the injection site which can be common. These include:

  • Pain
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness
  • Bleeding
  • Swelling

Some less common side effects include:

  • Itching in the hand
  • Swollen glands in the elbow or armpit
  • Swelling in the hand
  • Pain up the arm
  • Joint swelling and pain
  • Dizziness and nausea
  • Headache
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