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What is Dupuytren’s disease?

Dupuytren’s disease is a condition where scar-like tissue forms just beneath the skin of your fingers and the palm of your hand. Over time, this fibrous tissue can contract and force one or more fingers to curl up into the palm. This is known as Dupuytren’s contracture.

Figure showing Dupuytren’s contracture

What are the benefits of surgery?

You should be able to make better use of your hand and straighten the affected fingers more.

Are there any alternatives to a Dupuytren’s fasciectomy?

Your surgeon may be able to perform a needle aponeurotomy. This involves cutting the bands in your hand using a needle and a local anaesthetic, and avoids making a larger cut on your skin.

Dupuytren’s contracture can be treated by injecting Botox or collagenase into the bands of tissue but this is a new treatment and it is unclear how effective it is.

What does the operation involve?

The surgery can range from simply cutting a fibrous band in the palm of your hand to removing all the affected skin and replacing it with skin grafts.

Various anaesthetic techniques are possible.

What complications can happen?

General complications of any operation

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection of the surgical site (wound)
  • Scarring

Specific complications of this operation

  • Injury to an artery in your finger
  • Incomplete correction of the Dupuytren’s contracture
  • Return of Dupuytren's disease
  • Stiffness of your finger joints
  • Numbness in your fingers operated on
  • Wound-healing problems
  • Severe pain, stiffness and loss of use of your hand

How soon will I recover?

You should be able to go home the same day.

Your surgeon may arrange for you to have a splint to wear on your hand at night, and some physiotherapy to help get your fingers moving again.

It is also important to exercise your shoulder and elbow gently to prevent stiffness.

Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.

It can take some time for your hand to settle.

Your fingers may curl up into your palm again in the future.

Summary

A Dupuytren’s fasciectomy should straighten your fingers and give you a worthwhile improvement in the function of your hand.

 

Disclaimer

The operation and treatment information on this website is published under license by The London Clinic from EIDO Healthcare UK and is protected by copyright laws. Other than for your personal, non-commercial use, you may not copy, print out, download or otherwise reproduce any of the information. The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

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