A couple years ago I participated in clinical trials for an enzyme injection to treat Dupuytren's disease, a genetic condition that causes your fingers to contract. I posted videos on YouTube about the process (there are 8 videos, I've linked to the first one). I also posted an account of the process here on my blog ( if you put Dupuytren's in the search box here on my blog you can see all the relevant posts).
I get lots of mail about Dupuytren's and have more than 12,000 hits on the first video in the YouTube series, so even though you've likely never heard of it there are lots of people who have the condition.
I recently got an email from Nicholas Meyer, MD (left), a hand surgeon and orthopedic surgeon at St. Croix Orthopaedics in Minnesota. I asked him what he thought about the various treatments for Dupuytren's and here's what he had to say:
I learned the NA [Needle Aponeurotomy] technique from Dr. Eaton [Dr. Charles Eaton] in Jupiter, FL. He's the US "Guru" on NA and has great information on his website. The results are good, but not great (I've done about 6 cases; all look great initially and I am in the process of doing a follow-up survey with them at this time--I'll forward the results when I get them). There is a faster recurrence rate (anywhere from 15-60% requiring another procedure within 3 years) than with open surgery (10-30%), but probably about the same as with the enzyme (I don't think there's enough data yet to directly compare the two). Open surgery definitely has a role, especially if your nodules are large and bothersome, as this allows the surgeon to remove that tissue. Bottom line with Dupuytren's: Since it's a genetic condition, we can never completely cure it. It will always come back in some form or another.
I just received data regarding the injection: They are charging $3200 for
a single dose. They are charging essentially as much as they can while still costing less than what open surgery would cost. However, if you add anesthetic, and fees for the surgeon/doctor doing the injection, I would imagine the price to the patient will be at least $4000. NA costs about $1000 from what I
Hope that helps.
My note: Here's a great link with more information about Dr. Charles Eaton in Jupiter, Florida.