Dupuytren’s Disease is a deformity of the hand that develops over the years. This condition affects a layer of tissue under the skin of your palm. The tissue under the skin forms knots that gradually create a thick cord that pulls one or more fingers into a firm and bent position.
The bent fingers lose their moving ability almost entirely, which results in complicating daily activities like shaking hands, holding anything with hands, wearing accessories that use frequent finger and palm movements.
Dupuytren’s disease begins with the thickening of the skin on the palm. A firmly hardened lump of tissue that feels knotty on touching may form on your palm. This lump is usually sensitive to touch but is usually painless.
The most commonly affected areas of the hand are the ring finger and the pinky. The thumb, middle and index finger are affected in rare cases. Dupuytren’s contracture can affect both hands, but usually, only one hand gets severely affected.
The cause of Dupuytren’s contracture is still unknown. There is no particular evidence or research that proves any occupation or hand injuries that involve vibrations to the hands that could cause Dupuytren’s disease.
Treatment, Surgery & Recovery
The treatment involves removing or breaking apart the cords that pull your fingers towards the palm. The choice of procedure will depend on how severe your case is and other health issues that you may have.
Needling: Is a technique to puncture and break the tissue chord that’s contracting a finger. A needle is inserted through your skin to perform this procedure. The procedure can be repeated as the contractures can relapse.
The advantages of the needling technique are that it does not involve any incision, and can be done on many fingers at a time. It may also need very minimal physical therapy to recover and get back the functionality of the fingers.
Enzyme injections: Injecting an enzyme into the firm cord in your palm can soften it. This will allow your doctor to manipulate your hand and break the stiffened cord and straighten the fingers.
Surgery: Another option for people with advanced contractures, progressing disease with a limited finger functioning is to surgically extract the stiff tissue affected in your palm. Post-surgery months of intensive physiotherapy is needed but still leads to more complete and longer-lasting satisfaction.