I just had the Xiaflex procedure done on my pinky finger and it was an extremely painful procedure I must say. The way it was done was that on the first day the doctor injected the Xiaflex at the base of my pinky finger. Within two hours the entire area was extremely swollen and painful. The following day the doctor did what he called “the manipulation” part of the procedure. I had the already extremely swollen and tender area of my pinky shot up with lidocaine injections which was very painful in and of itself. Then the doctor started wrenching the pinky back and forth so forcefully that I about passed out. He reluctantly injected more lidocaine (on my request) and came back 30 minutes later. He again wrenched the pinky so hard back and forth that I almost passed out, and had to sit with my head between my legs to keep from passing out when he was done. As a result of wrenching my pinky so hard I developed a large blood blister at the base of my pinky, which was extremely painful and took almost two weeks to finally go away. The area is still peeling skin and rather swollen and dark pink. Is this a typical procedure for Xiaflex? What I mean is it typical for this “manipulation” of an already tender and swollen finger? I am not feeling like I do not want to go through this again on other fingers which are crooked. Please advise!
A few thoughts come to mind based on what you related about your experience with the Xiaflex procedure for Dupuytren’s contracture:
1. What your doctor called “the manipulation” is a standard part of the usual Xiaflex injection procedure in which the Dupuytren cord is manually broken or snapped in half after it has first been weakened by injection of the collagenase enzymes in Xiaflex. It is how the procedure is done. First the cord is weakened and the next day it is broken by forcefully bending and extending the involved finger.
2. Based upon what you have described, I get the impression that the doctor who did your injection did not do a good job of injecting the enzyme into the cord to weaken it. Either he did not inject enough of the enzyme into the cord, or he missed the target tissue. Usually the procedure is not as abusive or painful as what you have described.
3. Based on what you have described, I get the impression that your doctor did not adequately explain ahead of time what he was going to do or what you would experience. This is unfortunate. Without this information you could not make an informed decision about the procedure.
4. I wonder if you are aware that after going through the painful and prolonged Xiaflex procedure that it is just a matter of time before your Dupuytren’s contracture will recur in that same finger. Please read my post, “Do Xiaflex injections really have a low recurrence rate?” In this post you can read about the Dupuytren finger contracture coming back over a period of time. Based on the way you were not told about what might happen during the Xiaflex procedure I hope you were at least told that that the Dupuytren’s contracture will always come back after any surgical intervention, and yes, a Xiaflex injection is a surgical intervention. If your doctor says it is not, ask him for a few bottles of Xiaflex to take home because you want to inject some Xiaflex in a neighbor’s hand. Of course, he will not give any to you because you would be doing surgery and he cannot be a part of that.
5. I wonder how much experience your doctor had doing Xiaflex injections?
6. I suggest that you spend some time on the DCI website to investigate the possibility of using Alternative Medicine for a few months to see if you can support and increase your ability to remove the Dupuytren contracture material in a more conservative manner. There is no easy way to get rid of Dupuytren’s contracture, as you have already seen after using the “miracle” procedure with Xiaflex. Yes, it might get rid of the Dupuytren cord without surgery, but it has the potential for serious side effects and the benefits are only temporary. I suggest you look into trying to rid yourself of the lumps and cords in your hands without risky surgery. TRH