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Dupuytren's Contracture

Dupuytren's contracture
Dr Salehzadeh thumbnail blog 1
19th October 2023 by Dr Alireza Salehzadeh

Dupuytren's Contracture: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Dupuytren's contracture is a condition that affects the hands, specifically the palmar fascia, leading to the progressive flexion contracture of the fingers.

This condition can significantly impact a person's hand function and quality of life. In this blog post, we will dive into the causes, symptoms, and various treatment options available for Dupuytren's contracture.

Causes of Dupuytren's Contracture

The exact cause of Dupuytren's contracture is unknown, but several risk factors have been identified.

Genetics, age, gender,and certain health conditions like diabetes and liver disease can increase the likelihood of developing the condition. Additionally, tobacco and alcohol usage, as well as manual labor and hand injuries, have been associated with an increased risk.

Symptoms of Dupuytren's Contracture

The main symptom of Dupuytren's contracture is the presence of nodules or lumps on the palmar fascia, which eventually transform into thickened cords. These cords cause the affected fingers to bend inward, making it difficult to fully extend or straighten them.

As the condition progresses, the fingers may become permanently flexed or "locked" in a bent position. In severe cases, daily tasks such as grasping objects, shaking hands, or even washing hands can become challenging and painful.

Diagnosis and Treatment Options

A physical examination of the hands and a discussion of the patient's medical history are usually sufficient to diagnose Dupuytren's contracture.

In some cases, imaging tests like MRI or ultrasound may be ordered to assess the severity of the condition.While there is no known cure for Dupuytren's contracture, several treatment options are available to manage the symptoms and slow down the progression of the disease.

1. Non-surgical treatments

In the early stages, non-invasive treatments like physical therapy, splinting, and steroid injections may be recommended to alleviate pain and increase hand function. These treatments help to stretch the affected tissues and improve finger mobility.

2. Minimally invasive procedures

Certain procedures, such as needle aponeurotomy or collagenase injections, can help break down the cords causing finger contractures. These techniques are less invasive than traditional surgery and provide relief to many patients.

3. Surgery

In severe cases where non-surgical methods have not been effective, surgical intervention may be necessary. The goal of surgery is to remove the contracted tissue and restore finger function. Different surgical techniques can be employed, including fasciectomy, fasciotomy, or percutaneous needle fasciotomy, depending on the severity and location of the contractures.

Post-treatment and Recovery

Following any treatment option, rehabilitation exercises and physical therapy are crucial for a successful recovery. These therapies help improve hand strength, flexibility, and reduce scar tissue formation. It is important to note that Dupuytren's contracture is a progressive condition, and it may recur or affect other areas of the hand even after treatment. Regular monitoring and follow-ups with a healthcare professional are essential to ensure appropriate management of the condition.

Further information and bookings

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