The Gold Coast University Hospital has become the first public hospital in Queensland – and the second in Australia – to offer an innovative, injection treatment for patients with a common hand condition called Dupuytren’s contracture.
Dupuytren’s contracture is a slow contracting of your fingers that impacts your hand’s ability to function correctly. Traditionally the only solution has been surgery at a cost of around $5,000.
This new ‘collagenase injection’ treatment, known as XIAFLEX, is now available for the first time in Queensland public hospitals through the Gold Coast University Hospital.
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Professor Randy Bindra said: “The collagenase injection softens the contracture and allows specialists to gently straighten the finger.
“We expect to see an estimated 50 patients treated with collagenase annually. That’s 50 people every year who will avoid surgery and spend less time recovering.”
Dr Bindra said the injection treatment provided the health service cost savings.
“The injection itself costs us $1300 while the cost for each of the two clinic visits required is $196 for each patient,” he said.
“That’s compared to the surgical treatment which if you take into account the hospital stay, surgery and theatre time, we are looking at between $4600 – $5400 per patient.”
Professor Bindra said the injection procedure was performed over two short clinic visits.
“Firstly we measure the finger and slowly inject the solution into the affected area,” he said.
“We then ask the patient to come back two days later. This is when we gently manipulate the finger to its original position. There is often an audible ‘popping’ sound at this point.
“Effectively the patient has restored hand functionality from then.”