Dupuytren’s contracture is a hand deformity caused by abnormally thick tissue that develops in the palm and can spread to the fingers. Over years, the patient develops knots of tissue under the skin. Those knots gradually become thick cords that pull one or more fingers into a permanently bent state. The patient eventually has difficulty performing such activities as shaking hands or putting on gloves. Dupuytren’s contracture usually affects the fourth and fifth fingers. The condition is most common in older men of northern European descent. Fortunately, Dupuytren’s contracture surgery is usually not necessary, as the condition can typically be treated with non-surgical methods.
How is Dupuytren’s Contracture Treated Without Surgery?
Mild cases may not need to be treated at all, and our doctor may simply monitor the patient to see if the condition gets worse. However, in many cases, the condition needs to be professionally treated. Non-surgical options that do not involve Dupuytren’s contracture surgery include a special enzyme injection called XIAFLEX. This may be used to make the tissue weaker and softer. Our doctor may then try to straighten the affected finger.
The two most common surgical procedures are the fasciotomy and the subtotal palmar fasciotomy. The first is a straightforward outpatient procedure in which the surgeon cuts the cord of tissue in half. In the subtotal palmar fasciotomy, the surgeon removes the corded tissue. The patient may then have to wear a splint. If the patient has a severe or neglected case, the surgeon may also need to release stiff ligaments or joint capsules to make the finger straighten properly. The patient will generally need to undergo physical therapy for a set amount of time. Treatments may include stretching, heat treatments and soft tissue massage. The therapy will help prevent the contracture from returning, and it will help prevent the accumulation of scar tissue. The patient may have to wear a splint as well to keep the contracture from redeveloping.
Schedule a Consultation Today
As we previously mentioned, Dupuytren’s contracture surgery is oftentimes not required, as Dr. Arora and his team of professionals at Arora Hand Surgery proudly offer various non-surgical treatment options for the condition. During a consultation at our office in Howell, Warren, West Bloomfield, or Macomb, Dr. Arora can evaluate your specific case and come up with a treatment plan for you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and get started.