What is Dupuytren’s Contracture?
A sheet of connective tissue called fascia rests beneath the skin in the palm of the hand. Fascia encloses and separates muscle groups and layers. The condition where the tissue thickens and knots into cording, which pulls the fingers toward the palm, is Dupuytren’s Contracture. While frequently painless, the condition severely restricts use of fingers.
How is Dupuytren’s Contracture Caused?
While the cause of Dupuytren’s Contracture remains undetermined, research indicates certain factors increase the likelihood of developing the condition.
- Excessive alcohol use, diabetes and smoking contribute to increased risk of the condition.
- It is most common in people over 50 years old.
- It occurs more frequently in men than in women.
- It is most prevalent in people with Northern European ancestry.
- A family history of the condition increases the risk of developing the condition.
Thus far, occupation and accidental injury do not appear significantly related to Dupuytren’s Contracture.
Treatment Options for Dupuytren’s Contracture
Performing exercises or using splints to stretch the muscles and immersing the hand in warm water may provide relief, but further treatment often proves necessary as the condition progresses. The three primary treatments are needling, enzyme injection and surgery.
Needling involves a doctor inserting a needle that punctures and severs the cording that causes the contracting, while an enzyme injection uses collagenase and hand manipulation for softening and weakening the cord.
How is Dupuytren’s Contracture Surgery Done?
Surgery for Dupuytren’s Contracture involves making incisions to open the palm. The doctor then removes or thins the cording and removes any diseased tissue that might have attached to the skin.
Recovery time depends on the treatment method. The recovery from needling or enzyme injection is quite short and involves minimal physical therapy. As surgery is the most invasive treatment method, it does require more recuperation time and more extensive physical therapy. Recovering from surgery can take months.
Why See Dr. Knight for Dupuytren’s Contracture?
As an eminently notable and highly respected hand and wrist specialist, Dr. Knight brings 20 years of experience and the performance of more than 15,000 procedures to patients suffering Dupuytren’s Contracture. Specializing further in minimally invasive treatment methods, Dr. Knight prefers performing non-surgical treatment; however, he involves the patient fully in the decision making process in order to achieve the best results with the least amount of pain and discomfort.
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