Vail doctor offering new treatment for hand disease |

Vail doctor offering new treatment for hand disease

Daily staff report
VAIL CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily

Around 3 to 6 percent of people suffer from Dupuytren’s Disease. A Vail doctor is offering a new therapy recently approved by the FDA. As a doctor specializing in hand and upper extremity conditions, Dr. Erik Dorf of Vail-Summit Orthopaedics said the ability to offer a new, less-invasive treatment for Dupuytren’s is pure joy. He is the only practitioner between Denver and Glenwood Springs to offer the non-surgical treatment, Xiaflex, for Dupuytren’s Disease.

Dupuytren’s Disease is a condition almost entirely restricted to people of Northern European descent. It is most common in Scandinavians and Anglo-Saxons over the age of 60. The condition affects the fascia layer of the palm, between the skin and the tendons. The fascia thickens and develops first nodes, and eventually long strands of fiber that extend into the fingers. The fingers are forced to clench inward toward the palm, starting with the small and ring fingers and working toward the thumb.

Traditional treatment has been through surgery; the thickened tissue is cleared from the palm and fingers. The technique, however, presents the challenges and risks inherent in any extensive hand surgery. The healing time can be drawn out, and therapy after Dupuytrens surgery is extensive.

The Xiaflex injections are relatively simple, effective and allow patients to get back to normal activity much more quickly than through surgery. Xiaflex uses an enzyme to break down the nodes and fibers that restrict the motion of a Dupuytren’s sufferer. As the fibers melt away, the fascia is released and the fingers straighten and move naturally.

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