Mayo Clinic: Is surgery for Dupuytren’s contracture safe?
What kind of results can I expect after surgery? Are there any
alternatives to surgery?
Surgery is the traditional treatment for Dupuytren’s
contracture. It is safe and effective, but may not always be
necessary. Other treatments are available, depending on the
severity of the condition. Usually, the earlier Dupuytren’s
contracture is identified, the more treatment options are
contracture is a genetic condition that affects the hand —
most often in men of northern European or Scandinavian
descent. Dupuytren’s contracture usually progresses slowly
over several years. As it does, knots form in a layer of
fascia that lies under the skin of the palm of the hand.
Eventually, the knots create a thick cord that can pull one or
more fingers into a bent position. Once that happens,
treatment is necessary to straighten those fingers.
contracture commonly affects the ring and small fingers.
Dupuytren’s contracture can develop in both hands, though it
usually affects one hand more severely than the other. The
severity of Dupuytren’s can vary a great deal. In some
people, the condition may be mild and not require treatment.
In others, it can continue to develop until the hand is
significantly deformed, making it hard to perform routine
to treat Dupuytren’s typically involves removing the
diseased cords that are causing the contracture in the finger.
In many cases, this surgery successfully eliminates Dupuytren’s
contracture. Results usually are long-lasting, and the rate of
recurrence is low. Recovery after the surgery, however, may
take three months or more, and involves extensive physical
therapy to regain use of the fingers and hand.
surgery often requires extended recovery time, it’s
generally reserved for advanced or severe cases of Dupuytren’s
contracture that cannot be treated conservatively. For mild to
moderate cases, alternatives are available.
option involves a doctor inserting a needle through the skin
to puncture and break the cord of tissue, releasing the finger
from contracture. This technique can effectively relieve
Dupuytren’s with a minimal incision, no medication, and
minimal, if any, physical therapy required afterward. The main
drawback is that the condition is more likely to come back
after this treatment than it is with other treatment options.
other alternative to surgery is a minimally invasive procedure
in which an enzyme, called collagenase, is injected into the
diseased cords. Collagenase weakens and dissolves the cords,
allowing the fingers to straighten. Dupuytren’s contracture
is less likely to come back after this procedure than it is
with the puncture technique, but this treatment can be more
sooner Dupuytren’s contracture is diagnosed, the better. If
you notice any of the early symptoms of this condition, such
as unusual thickening of the skin of your palm or firm lumps
of skin on your palm, make an appointment to see your doctor
right away. If he or she suspects Dupuytren’s contracture,
he or she should refer you to a hand surgeon who can assess
your situation and help you decide on the best treatment