When Should You Get Surgery For Dupuytren’s Contracture?

If you have been diagnosed with Dupuytren’s Contracture and feel like surgery is the only option, you need to read this. Dupuytren’s Contracture is an unfortunate condition to have to deal with for anyone. It starts out as a hard lump on the hand and, as it progresses, causes a cord to develop from the lump to the joints in the fingers. The cord then makes the fingers bend in towards the hand’s center, and they then cannot be straightened.

The lack of movement that the fingers can make results in daily activities being unattainable. For the most part, other than hurting your feelings and causing embarrassment, Dupuytren’s Contracture is painless. The issue lies in the lack of use that the hand suffering from the condition can have. Being unable to bend and straighten your fingers makes picking up items almost impossible. 

So, Go and Get Surgery, Right?

Now surgery is one of the many treatment options available for Dupuytren’s Contracture, but please make sure you understand what the procedure involves before you run to your surgeon. A Dupuytren’s Contracture surgery is known as a fasciectomy. A fasciectomy is used to treat the condition by cutting out the fascia, a layer of tissue, which will allow movement to return to the fingers. The Dupuytren’s surgery is performed under general or local anesthetic, depending on the patient.

The surgeon makes an incision at the affected hand’s base and makes a zig-zag shaped incision leading to the hardened or infected tissue base. The tissue is then cut away, allowing freedom of movement to return to the fingers; once this tissue is removed, the patient can then straighten the fingers as usual. The wound is then stitched shut, and the patient is free to leave. The operation leaves a very distinctive, unsightly scar on the patient’s hand; the scar is at risk of infection and must be maintained.

Many fasciectomy recoverees complain of pain in the hand, excessive bleeding from the wound, and itchiness. There is also a risk of numbness and even potential nerve damage from the procedure. A splint or brace is worn after surgery to aid in recovery, taking anywhere from four weeks to several months. 

Another surgical option for Dupuytren’s Contracture is needle aponeurotomy. Needle aponeurotomy involves no cutting of the skin; instead, the doctor inserts a needle into the hardened skin. The needle is then moved from side to side to loosen the tissue. The loosening of the tissue allows the finger to be straightened and will result in normal movement returning. Although it doesn’t leave a scar, needle aponeurotomy does come with its own potential side effects. Side effects include excruciating pain, bleeding, bruising, numbness, and tingling fingers. The patient may also be required to wear a brace or splint during recovery. 

Is There Any Non-Surgical Treatment For Dupuytren’s Contracture?

You will be glad to hear there are non-surgical Dupuytren’s Contracture treatment options; the best of those is the Dupuytrens wand. The Dupuytrens wand uses the latest medical technology to penetrate the skin and break up the hardened tissue in the hand without causing any side effects. The tissue being broken up allows the finger to be straightened; the patient then applies the Dupuytrens tape, which is a far better option than any splint or brace.

The tape will keep the finger in a position that encourages blood circulation, which will speed up the recovery process. Unlike a brace, the tape still allows the patient to use the hand without being clumsy or cumbersome. This treatment is waterproof and can be worn all day long, and lightweight so that it won’t cause any discomfort.

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