Dupuytren's Contracture
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A patient is told to be suffering from Dupuytren's contracture when the fingers of the hand tend to bend towards the palm. The patient finds it impossible to straighten the fingers. The well renowned surgeon Baron Guillaume Dupuytren decided to perform surgery to rectify the problem.

Hence the disease has been named after the surgeon. The fingers that are mostly affected are the little finger and the ring finger. But if the intensity of the disease is severe then the middle finger is also affected. In most cases it has been seen that the thumb as well as the index finger are not affected.

The onset of the disease starts very slowly and is generally the patient does not experience any pain. When a person suffers from Dupuytren's contracture the tissues that are present on the palm starts to get thickened as well as shortened. When such a condition arises the person afflicted with this disease finds it very difficult to move the fingers freely.

The tissues become very hard and contracture occurs. The fingers that get affected starts to bend and the patient finds it difficult to move the fingers. The patients are not born with disease. They get affected only after they cross the age of 40. The men are more prone to this disease than the women though women also suffer from this disease.

Dupuytren's Contracture Symptoms

The tissues that connect the fingers with the palm become so hard, thick and tough that straightening of the fingers becomes difficult. The fingers tend to curl. Functioning of the fingers becomes very difficult. The small and ring fingers are affected initially. First a small lump is noticed on the palm along with a little pain. But gradually the pain is erased but the tissues continue to thicken.

These tissues reduce the mobility of the palm. The tissues become so hard that they can be easily noticed on the palm’s surface. They appear like small callus. The callus generally can develop in any of the hands and is not related to any particular hand. The onset of the Dupuytren's disease is very slow particularly in women. But if the tissues start to thicken in the hands as well as the feet then the onset is very rapid.

Dupuytren's Contracture Causes

The disease is sometimes passed on genetically. Men are more affected with the disease though women also suffer from Dupuytren's contracture. With active research it has been found out that the disease can be co-related with smoking and drinking. People suffering from thyroid, diabetes and liver problem are prone to this disease.

It has also been that some sort of surgery in the hand leads to the onset of the disease. But it triggers off only if the patient has any slight indication of the disease. Some say that injuries are also the source of the disease but there are no proven facts to the claim. Sometimes over-exertion of the hands might lead to the disease.

Dupuytren's Contracture Treatment

If the doctors consider the case to be quite a serious one then surgery is performed. But if Dupuytren's contracture is diagnosed at an early stage then it can be cured with the help of radiation. Injections also provide some sort of relief. It is not a very dangerous disease and often it requires no treatment.

But if treatment is done it is not possible to stop the hardening of the tissues. At the onset of the disease there is some sort of pain on the lump. An injection is administered to eradicate the pain but if the pain persists and the functioning of the hands becomes really difficult then surgery is highly recommended.

During the surgery the skin over the affected areas are opened and the hardened tissues are removed. Then with post surgery therapy the fingers get back their original size. But the surgery is not able to cure the disease as the tissues might thicken again. The patient has the option of undergoing a surgery again.

Sometimes with the help of needle aponeurotomy a small insertion is done on the hand and the cords are weakened. As the cords are weak mere pulling of the fingers snaps them off. This therapy is preferred, as it requires a small surgery and the patient suffering from Dupuytren's contracture can return to normal life very quickly.

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how long will the post surgery pain last. my hand is STILL VERY sore 2 weeks after the surgery. and how long before stitches desolve.
#1 - Robin - 08/11/2010 - 14:47
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