What is Dupuytren’s Disease?
Dupuytren’s disease is a medical condition that occurs in the hand’s fibrous layer of tissue underneath the skin, called the facia. Overtime, patients with Dupuytren’s this tissue thickens and tightens, which causes the finger to bend toward the palm, also known as Dupuytren’s contracture.
What are the Symptoms?
You may have Dupuytren’s disease if you notice lumps or divets on your palm. Thick cords may begin to develop, which causes bending of the fingers. Although this medical condition typically doesn’t cause pain, the lumps made in the palms may cause discomfort to some. In the beginning phases, you may not notice the symptoms, but as time passes, it may become more difficult to carry out everyday tasks.
Depending on the severity of your condition, treatment may vary. For some whose fingers are significantly bent due to the thickened facia, surgery may be necessary for a longer-lasting resolution.
What to Expect
If your hand function is not severely impaired, you should only need an examination and diagnosis to understand the condition. For more severe cases where hand function is impaired, there are various treatment options, including Dupuytren’s Contracture surgery. During an appointment with Dr. Howland, he will discuss the best treatment for you.
Dupuytren’s Disease Surgery
There are three common methods of surgical treatment, which will be discussed based on the severity of your condition. A needle fasciotomy can be performed under local anesthetic, while Dr. Howland inserts into the fibrous bands under the skin. Then the cord or cords affecting proper hand function will be divided, releasing the tightness and pulling of your hand’s tendons. An open fasciotomy may be necessary, which is similar to a needle fasciotomy but is a more complex and extensive operation.
By dividing the thick facia tissue under the skin, Dr. Howland immediately releases the pressure and tension you may have been experiencing. Fingers will return to their normal position, and with time, you will regain flexibility and function of your hand. The goal of Dupuytren’s Disease surgical treatment is long-lasting. However, the rate of recurrence of this medical condition is fairly high, requiring ongoing treatment over time.