Dupuytren’s Contracture2024-05-02T11:10:28+00:00

Dupuytren’s Contracture

Dupuytren’s Contracture

Recognising the Symptoms of Dupuytren’s Contracture

Dupuytren’s Contracture

Lumps and cords in your palm causing fingers to bend? It could be Dupuytren’s contracture. Dupuytren’s is a condition that affects the connective tissue in your palm. I specialise in treating Dupuytren’s contracture, offering both non-surgical and surgical options to restore hand function.

Understanding Dupuytren’s Contracture

Dupuytren’s contracture causes thickening and tightening of the tissue beneath the skin of your palm. This can lead to:

  • Symptoms: Firm lumps or nodules in the palm, cords developing that gradually pull the fingers towards the palm.
  • Causes: The exact cause is unknown but has links to genetics and certain medical conditions.
  • Treatment: Ranges from non-invasive options like injections to surgical procedures for advanced cases.

If you notice changes in your palm or find it difficult to straighten your fingers, let’s evaluate if Dupuytren’s contracture is the cause. We can discuss treatment options to improve your hand function.

Dupuytren’s Contracture FAQs

Dupuytren’s disease (say it like Doo-pwi-trahns) involves a thickening of the tissue just beneath the skin of your palm. This creates tough cords that can gradually pull one or more fingers into a bent position, and that can really get in the way of daily life.

We don’t have a definite answer as to why this happens, but it often runs in families. Some things like health conditions or hand use might play a role, but sometimes it seems to come out of nowhere.

The first sign is often a small, firm lump or thickened area in your palm. Over time, these tough cords might develop, restricting your ability to straighten your fingers fully. Thankfully, it’s usually not painful.

Unfortunately, Dupuytren’s typically doesn’t improve on its own. The progression can be slow, but those cords tend to gradually contract more over time. The good news is there are treatments to help when it starts interfering with things you do.

Stretching exercises can sometimes help slow the progression and keep your fingers as flexible as possible. It’s best to learn some safe, effective exercises specifically for Dupuytren’s from a hand therapist.

While splints likely won’t reverse the condition, they can help slow the tightening of the cords, especially at night when we might accidentally curl our hands tightly.

An injection of special enzymes can sometimes break down the tough cords in your palm without the need for open surgery. It’s not suitable for everyone, but often offers a less invasive approach.

When Dupuytren’s prevents you from using your hand comfortably, surgery can be very effective. The goal is carefully removing or releasing those contracted cords to let your fingers straighten again.

Most people regain significant hand function after surgery. Your doctor or hand therapist will guide you through a recovery plan involving exercises and perhaps further splinting for the best outcome.

There is a chance the contractures might recur after treatment, which is why monitoring after any intervention is important. But many people experience long-term improvement with a single treatment.

While Dupuytren’s can affect both hands, and sometimes the soles of the feet, it won’t spread from your hand to other body parts.

Both can affect hand function, but the cause is different. Arthritis is joint inflammation, whereas Dupuytren’s is this specific thickening of tissue under the skin. Carefully describing your symptoms will help with proper diagnosis.

 There seems to be some connection, as people with diabetes have a slightly increased risk of developing Dupuytren’s. While frustrating, we can work together to manage both conditions effectively.

The best place to start is often with your primary care doctor. They can assess your hands and may refer you to a hand surgeon or an orthopedic specialist with expertise in hand conditions.

Your doctor will know local specialists that handle Dupuytren’s. There are also resources online dedicated to finding doctors specializing in hand conditions. We’ll collaborate to find the right help for you, you don’t have to go through this alone.

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