Contracted Fingers Treatment (Dupuytren's contracture)
|Recovery||2 - 3 weeks|
|Addresses||Tightness and thickening in the fingers or the palm of the hand|
Dupuytren’s Contracture is when thickenings can appear in the palm of the hand and the fingers and these may become tight, causing fingers to bend. This is known as Contracted Fingers or Dupuytren’s disease. It frequently runs in families and is believed to have originated amongst Viking populations. It occurs spontaneously although it can occasionally be triggered by a small injury or operation.
Is this right for me?
If you cannot fully straighten one or more fingers because of tightness and thickening in the fingers or the palm of the hand, treatment for Dupuytren’s may be helpful for you.
The contracted finger(s) may be making simple functions difficult. Do you find it difficult putting your hand into a pocket? Do you poke yourself in the eye when washing your face? The condition may be more difficult to treat successfully if the tightness is longstanding or pronounced so an early medical consultation is advisable if you cannot place the hand flat due to contracted fingers.
A variety of options may be available depending upon the severity of your condition.
What the procedure involves
After personal consultation with our experienced cosmetic surgeons, they will be able to recommend which form of cosmetic treatment is best for you.
Open surgery, which can be performed simply under local anaesthetic, is considered to be the most effective method as it removes most of the abnormal thickened tissues. It's important to bare in mind that open surgery will require dressing changes for 2-3 weeks after surgery and specialist hand therapy for 2-3 months.
If open surgery is not convenient or possible for you their are alternative treatments that interrupt the tight tissue without removing it. This is done either by using a sharp needle to sever the tissue or by using a powerful enzyme (Xiapex) to dissolve small sections. The convenience of these treatments makes them a popular option for patients.
What effects does Dupuytren’s Contracture have on the hands?
Dupuytren’s Contracture causes the fingers to contract and makes daily functions difficult; such as putting hands into pockets, or picking up certain objects. The contracture never settles on its own and usually continues to worsen – sometimes quickly, and sometimes slowly. Although it is not a dangerous condition, the longer it is left untreated, the more difficult it is to get a good result because the bones and ligaments of the finger joints start to become damaged.
When should you seek treatment for Dupuytren’s Contracture?
If the hand cannot be placed flat on the table it is advisable to seek specialist treatment. Depending upon the severity of your condition and the circumstances of individual patients there may be several different options available for treatment
Dupuytren’s Contracture surgery
Dupuytrens Contracture surgery, can be performed as a day case – awake procedure (under local anaesthetic), is considered to be the ‘gold standard’ in terms of minimising the chances of recurrence because it removes most of the abnormal thickened tissues, but will require dressing changes for 2-3 weeks after surgery and specialist hand therapy for 2-3 months.
Are there alternative Dupuytren’s Contracture treatments?
Alternative treatments interrupt the tight tissue without removing it. This is done either by using a sharp needle to sever the tissue (needle fasciotomy) or by using a powerful enzyme (Xiapex) to dissolve small sections. These techniques allow fingers to be straightened but do not remove the tight dupuytren’s tissue. As a result there is a greater chance of recurrence and also a small chance that the bend in the finger will be fully corrected. Despite this, the convenience of these alternative treatments makes them an appealing choice for many patients.
Having had both hands treated at the same time I immediately had a very welcome, pain free, night's sleep
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