PROCEDURES

HAND SURGERY / TRAUMA

DUPUYTREN'S DISEASE

It is a condition caused by shortening and thickening of connective tissue in the palm of the hand with contractures that can extend into the fingers. In the palm, firm nodules, and cords may develop. With time, the fingers become permanently bent into the palm, leading to deformities that reduce quality of life.

INDICATIONS

The deformities of Dupuytren's disease are noticeable, with the ring and little fingers most commonly involved. It is not typically painful and the nodules and cords may grow with time, but there is no concern for cancer. It is a progressive condition with no cure but treatments do exist, and can improve the functionality of the affected fingers and hand.

Individuals at greater risk of Dupuytren's disease are 

  • Older with the condition usually starting in middle age

  • Male

  • Scandinavian or have a Northern European background

  • Taking seizure medication

  • Smokers or abuse alcohol

  • Diabetic

TREATMENT

Treatment for the condition was previously limited to surgery. After a detailed and careful consultation and examination by Dr Sofianos, he will recommend which treatment is suited for your particular condition.

Surgery performed by Dr Sofianos for Dupuytren's disease is a procedure called fasciectomy and aims to remove the diseased tissue. It is usually very effective, but does carry a risk of recurrence up to 20%. 

An injectable option for first-time treatment of simpler Dupuytren's disease is collagenase injection. This treatment is performed under local anaesthetic is a two-stage process. At the initial visit, the medication is injected through the skin into the specific Dupuytren’s cord. Twenty-four hours later, stretching is used to break the weakened cord and straighten the finger.

RECOVERY

Most patients require a 2 to 3 weeks off work after surgery for Dupuytren's disease. Numbness in the fingers may persist for a few weeks and may be a complication, if permanent. Hand therapy and splinting is vital in the postoperative recovery period and Dr Sofianos will involve specialised hand therapists in your treatment.

 

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