Can Dupuytren’s Contracture be Treated?

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If you or a family member has been affected by Dupuytren’s contracture, you’re probably wondering if the condition can be treated and what the treatment options are.

While the cause of Dupuytren’s contracture has no cure, there ways to treat the symptoms.


What is Dupuytren’s Contracture?

Dupuytren’s contracture, also known as Dupuytren’s disease, is a deformity of the hand where one or more fingers are pulled towards the palm. This is due to the connective tissues beneath the skin, known as fascia, thickening and tightening over time into a cord and pulling the fingers in and making it hard to straighten them.


Treatments for Dupuytren’s Contracture

While the condition can’t be prevented from happening, there are options to treat it and get the fingers straight and working properly again. These are surgical options done at the hospital, each offering slightly different results and recovery times depending on the severity of the condition.


Dupuytren’s Surgery

This type of surgery generally involves making incisions in the finger and the palm to remove the affected tissues and straighten the fingers.

There are slightly different types of fasciectomy surgery, each used depending on the needs of each case:

  • Segmental fasciectomy – short sections of affected tissue are removed through small incisions in the fingers or palm.
  • Regional fasciectomy – this involves removing the entire cord (the affected, thickened tissue) by making a single long incision along the finger and palm.
  • Dermo fasciectomy – this version of the surgery involves removing the affected tissue as well as the overlying skin, requiring skin graft surgery to seal up the affected area afterwards.

All of these options are usually done under general anaesthetic, though they can be done under local if the condition is less severe.


Outcome and recovery

Full fasciectomy surgery usually has the best outcome in terms of treating the symptoms of Dupuytren’s disease in the long-term. It offers the lowest chances of the contracture coming back, though there’s always the possibility as the root cause of the condition can’t be treated through surgery.

You’ll often be able to leave the hospital the same day, but sometimes an overnight stay might be recommended. Recovery can take up to 12 weeks, depending on the severity of the surgery, and to help the process along you might need to engage in specialist physical therapy to regain movement and function in your hand.


Needle Fasciotomy

This type of surgery uses a very fine needle or a sharp blade to carefully separate the thickened tissue within the hand and fingers to relieve the tightness. This is usually an outpatient procedure done under local anaesthetic, so you wouldn’t need to stay overnight at the hospital.


Outcome and recovery

While this type of surgery involves lower risks than a full fasciectomy, there’s a higher chance of the contracture coming back. As this is normally done under local anaesthetic, you’ll be able to leave the hospital the same day, and recovery should only take a couple of weeks.


Treatment for Dupuytren's Contracture at Ramsay Health Care

We offer a full selection of surgical options at Ramsay Health Care across our clean and comfortable hospitals up and down the country and teams of specialists and medical professionals. To find out more about Dupuytren’s surgery options at your nearest hospital, get in touch with us today.

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