One of the things that we take for granted is the finger’s ability to stretch and contract. This movement is possible because of the ligaments and muscles in your fingers and because they have a certain amount of space to operate. However, there are certain conditions that can interfere with your ability to flex and move your fingers. Dupuytren’s Disease, sometimes referred to as Dupuytren’s Contracture, is one such ailment. This conditions occurs when “knots” of tissue form under the skin, impeding your hand’s ability to operate.
As a result of Dupuytren’s Disease, the fingers can lose mobility. They will often become unable to straighten completely. In some cases, the fingers can become permanently “bent,” making it difficult to perform every day tasks, such as shaking hands or putting on gloves. Even holding a cell phone or eating can become difficult. Dupuytren’s usually developed over time, and the treatment will often depend on the stage of advancement when the patient is diagnosed.
What are The Symptoms of Dupuytren’s Disease?
Dupuytren’s Disease is caused by the development of knots and tissues in the palms and fingers. The causes of this ailment are usually a combination of genetics and lifestyle (for example, Dupuytren’s has sometimes been connected to alcoholism and Diabetes, but family history is also quite important). The symptoms of Dupuytren’s Disease include the following:
- Thicker than usual skin around the palm
- Dimpled skin around the palm
- A firm lump around the palm (this lump can sometimes be sensitive but generally not painful
- Fingers that are “pulled” towards the palm
- Inability to straighten the fingers
In most cases, the pinky and ring finger are those most affected by Dupuytren’s disease. The index finger and thumb are only very rarely affected. Dr. Polsen’s Houston area Dupuytren’s Disease patients have come to appreciate his ability to diagnose and treat this condition.
How is Dupuytren’s Disease Treated?
Treatment for Dupuytren’s disease will often depend on the overall progression of this ailment. In some less severe cases, Dupuytren’s Disease can be treated with a small needle, which clears out the fibrous tissue. However, in more advanced cases, surgery is typically needed. There are less invasive surgical options, but many patients who exhibit later stage symptoms require somewhat more invasive techniques.
During the surgical procedure, an incision will be made along the palm of the hand and along the affected finger. Once the incision is made, the excess fibrous tissue will be removed and incision will be closed. Recovery time for this procedure can take several weeks, and Dr. Polsen will give each and every patient unique and individualized recovery instructions.
Dr. Polsen’s Houston area Dupuytren’s Disease patients generally report an improvement in mobility after their surgery. Patients who think that they may have this disease should obtain a consult with an experienced hand surgeon, such as Dr. Polsen. At Clear Lake Hand Center, near Houston, we make sure all of our patients get excellent care and individualized attention.
Contact us to schedule a consultation with Dr. Polsen for your Dupuytren’s Disease treatment.