Dupuytren’s contracture is one of the debilitating effects of Dupuytren’s disease, which is a very common condition in Australians with Anglo-Saxon background and affects men more than women. This condition is characterised by an involuntary, painless bending of a finger that affects your ability to perform many daily tasks. The problem is caused by a thickening of the tissue just underneath the surface of the skin, as well as the formation of thick knots that begin to pull the finger inward. Once this occurs, you are unable to straighten your finger, which complicates the crippling nature of the condition.
Surgery is recommended for patients with Dupuytren’s contracture when the disease progresses to this point. The surgical procedure removes the affected tissue to release the fingers and allow them to straighten once again. Surgery for this condition can be complex and extensive in some cases, depending on how far the disease has advanced. Dr Teston is experienced in working with this condition, and possesses the necessary techniques and tools to provide patients the cosmetic and functional relief they need.
Before resorting to surgery to correct Dupuytren’s contracture, your doctor may recommend the following treatments:
When relief is not achieved or your condition continues to progress after these treatments, surgery may be the next logical course of action. Dr Teston will discuss your specific situation to help you decide if surgery might provide you with the best possible results.
Dr Teston performs this surgery in an accredited hospital, usually under general anaesthesia. An incision is made along the band in the finger. Dr Teston uses the incision to divide and remove the thickened connective tissue, allowing the finger to straighten, the scar will be made as a zigzag to prevent the scar tightening.
Repair of Dupuytren’s contracture may take up to 90 minutes to complete, and you will spend a few hours in recovery afterward so you can be carefully monitored as you come out of the anaesthesia and begin the recovery process. This surgery is usually done as a day surgery, which means you will be able to return home after your time spent in recovery.
When you go home, your hand will be bandaged and splinted to allow the treatment area to heal properly. You will have a prescription for oral pain medication and instructions to keep your hand above heart level to reduce swelling and encourage a faster healing process. Once your hand has healed, you will undergo physiotherapy to regain full strength and function.
Dupuytren’s contracture is not usually a painful condition, but it is extremely disfiguring and debilitating. For some patients, surgery is the only way to stop the disease in its tracks and restore the full form and function of the hand. To find out more about Dupuytren’s contracture or your surgical treatment options, contact Dr Leana Teston on (02) 9708 3511.
*The information about Dupuytren’s Disease/Contracture was reviewed by Dr. Leana Teston. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us using our contact form below.
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