Collagenase, or Xiaflex ( its brand name), is an injection performed into the Dupuytrens tissue. It is an enzyme that dissolves the collagen material in the thickened cord tissue.
The volume injected is very small, about 0.5 of a millilitre.
After the injection there is noticeable swelling of the hand and arm in the following few days. There is also at time enlarged lymph nodes at the elbow or arm pit. There can be mild to moderate pain, and at times blood blisters.
Approximately two to five days later the finger or hand is manipulated, usually after local anaesthetic, to break the softening cords and Dupuytrens tissue. Occasionally skin can tear over the area, and needs few weeks of light dressing to heal.
The correction or straightening may not be complete. A period of hand physio and splinting is needed to maintain the improvement.
Scar tissue can form that can cause a bent finger. Dupuytrens tissue can form in other areas or in the area of the injection, in the future, causing more bending of the finger.