What is Dupuytren’s Contracture?
The palmar fascia is fibrous tissue between the palm and fingers. The palmar fascia stabilizes the palmar side of the hand. Without the palmar fascia, it would be difficult to grip objects and make a tight fist. Dupuytren’s contracture occurs when the palmar fascia thickens and tightens.
Dupuytren’s contracture progresses slowly. Dupuytren’s contracture first presents as minor hand tightness and stiffness. Later, small visible nodules form. Nodules may make it difficult to straighten the fingers and properly use the hand. Dupuytren’s contracture is usually seen in the index and ring fingers. The cause of Dupuytren’s contracture is unknown. Risk factors include:
- Gender. Males.
- Ancestry. Northern European descent.
- Medical conditions. Diabetes, seizure disorders.
- Hereditary. Genetically inherited.
Risk increases with age. Orthopaedic Institute of Central Jersey (OICJ) specialists diagnose and treat Dupuytren’s contracture. A thorough physical examination of the hand is performed. Hand function, nodule size, and symptoms are carefully noted. A customized treatment plan is prescribed to reduce symptoms and prevent Dupuytren’s contracture from becoming worse.
How is Dupuytren’s Contracture Treated?
Corticosteroid injections decrease inflammation and pain. Injections also slow down or stop nodule progression. The number of injections required for symptom relief varies from patient to patient. Injections are usually given at three-month intervals.
Surgery may be recommended to treat severe Dupuytren’s contracture. A fasciotomy removes portions of thickened tendons. A fasciectomy removes large pieces of the palmar fascia. A fasciectomy requires a larger incision and longer recovery. A splint is used after surgery. Hand therapy is usually started 2-4 weeks after surgery. Both procedures reduce symptoms, straighten the fingers, and improve hand function.
All OICJ specialists are fellowship trained and board certified. To schedule your appointment with an OICJ specialist, call 732-201-6990 or visit our contact page.
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