What is Dupuytren’s Contracture?
Dupuytren’s contracture is a condition of the hand that causes fingers to flex and curl inward. This is the result of a thickening and tightening of fibrous tissue (palmar fascia) under the skin. Fortunately, pain is not often a symptom associated with this condition. However, the contraction can affect one’s daily activities and lifestyle by limiting the use of the hand.
For some affected by Dupuytren’s contracture, a minimally invasive needle fasciotomy procedure can be used as treatment. Benefits associated with this procedure include an outpatient setting, local anesthesia and little to no recovery time.
Causes and Symptoms of Dupuytren’s Contracture
The cause of Dupuytren’s contracture is unknown, however there are several risk factors to be aware of including:
- Men are more likely than women to develop the condition
- It is most common in people of Northern European or Scandinavian ancestry
- It becomes more frequent with age
- It can be a genetic condition
- It may be associated with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or seizures
It has not been proven that Dupuytren’s contracture is linked to overuse or trauma or that any specific occupational exposures lead to a higher risk in developing the disease.
While the most obvious symptom of Dupuytren’s contracture is curled fingers, particularly the ring and little fingers, Dupuytren’s may also result in small, tender lumps (nodules) on the hand.
Treating Dupuytren’s Contracture With Aponeurotomy
Treatment options for Dupuytren’s vary depending on the stage of the disease. In the early stages needle aponeurotomy can be used the relieve symptoms. The simple procedure can be done in just about 3o minutes.
During the procedure, the hand is numbed. The physician uses a needle to make holes in the tissues in the affected fingers. This allows the physician to straighten the finger and separate the tissues. To reduce swelling, the physician may use a steroid injection after the aponeurotomy.
Recovery from Needle Aponeurotomy
It may take a couple hours after the procedure for the numbness to wear off and tingling may occur for one to two days after. Ice and elevation can be used to reduce swelling.
Light activity, such as using a computer, can resume one to two days after aponeurotomy. However, strenuous work, hobbies, or sports aren’t recommended until one to three weeks after the procedure. Occasionally, a splint will need to be worn at night.
In some cases, Dupuytren’s contracture may return several years after surgery. Unfortunately, there is no way to completely eliminate the possibility of another case of Dupuytren’s returning.
ACL Repair Surgery Results
Recovery times may vary based on the surgery and it may take up to nine months before a patient can return to activities such as jogging, tennis, golf.” According to the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, in more than 90 percent of patients ACL surgery is successful and allows patients to return to sports and workplace activities without suffering from knee instability.