This webpage will give you information about a Dupuytren’s fasciectomy. If you have any questions, you should ask your GP or other relevant health professional.
What is Dupuytren’s disease?
Dupuytren’s disease is a condition where scar-like tissue forms just beneath the skin of the fingers and the palm of the 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 (see figure 1).
Figure 1 - Dupuytren’s contracture causing deformity of fingers.
What are the benefits of surgery?
After surgery, you should be able to make better use of your hand and straighten the affected fingers further.
Are there any alternatives to surgery?
Your surgeon may be able to perform a needle aponeurotomy. However, there is a higher chance of the contracture coming back.
A drug called collagenase can be injected into the bands of tissue. However, this is a new treatment and it is unclear how effective it is.
The most effective treatment is surgery.
What does the operation involve?
A variety of anaesthetic techniques are possible. The surgery can range from simply cutting a fibrous band in the palm of your hand to removing all of the affected skin and replacing it with skin grafts.
What complications can happen?
1 General complications
- Infection in the surgical site (wound)
2 Specific complications of this operation
- Injury to the small artery in the finger
- Incomplete correction of the Dupuytren’s contracture
- Stiffness of the finger joints
- Wound-healing problems
- Severe pain, stiffness and loss of use of the hand (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome)
How soon will I recover?
You should be able to go home the same day.
Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, you should ask a member of the healthcare team or your GP for advice.
It can take some time for your hand to settle down after surgery.
Dupuytren’s disease will probably come back in most people eventually, but will not always need further surgery.
A Dupuytren’s fasciectomy should straighten your fingers and give you a worthwhile improvement in the function of your hand.
Author: Prof. Tim Davis ChM FRCS (Tr. & Orth.)
Illustrations: Hannah Ravenscroft RM
This document is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.