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Dupuytren's Contracture Dupuytren's Contracture

Click to view Dupuytren's Contracture Practitioners

B

Barmakian, Joseph T., MD Orthopedics and Sports Medicine 574 Springfield Avenue, Westfield
Boretz, Robert S., MD Orthopedics and Sports Medicine 215 Union Avenue, Suite B, Bridgewater
34 Mountain Boulevard, Warren

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Fischer, Evan S., MD Hand Surgery 75 E. Northfield Road, Livingston
103 Park Street, Montclair
Fox, Ross J., MD, FAAOS Hand Surgery 75 Bloomfield Avenue, Denville
385 Morris Avenue, Springfield

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Momeni, Reza, MD, FACS Plastic Surgery 1 Diamond Hill Road, Berkeley Heights
75 E. Northfield Road, Livingston

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Niver, Genghis E., MD Hand Surgery 140 Park Avenue, Florham Park
Nordstrom, Thomas J., MD Orthopedics and Sports Medicine 215 Union Avenue, Suite B, Bridgewater

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Rombough, Gary R., MD Orthopedics and Sports Medicine 33 North Fullerton Avenue, Montclair

S

Schmid, Daniel, B., MD Plastic Surgery 75 E. Northfield Road, Livingston
131 Madison Avenue, Morristown

key facts about dupuytren's contracture

  • Click to enlarge The cause of Dupuytren's contracture is not known. In most cases it does not start until after age 40. It tends to be more common in men and in people who have other family members with it. It is also more common in people of Northern European ancestry. 
  • >A thickening, or nodule, develops in the palm of the hand near the base of the ring or little finger. The thickened tissue may pull the finger into a completely bent position. 
  • Any of the fingers may be affected, but it is most common in the ring finger or little finger.

>what is dupuytren's contracture?

Dupuytren's contracture is a condition in which thickened tissue in the hand forces one or more of your fingers to bend toward the palm. Sometimes a pit, or indentation, may form in the palm or on the finger. Other nodules may develop and create a cord, or band, that extends from the palm into the finger. This cord tightens and pulls the finger into a bent position toward the palm causing some discomfort. It becomes hard to straighten the finger. The condition can progress to the point where you cannot use your fingers.

how is dupuytren's contracture treated and diagnosed?

A Summit Medical Group hand specialist will examine the hand, fingers, and tissue to make an initial assessment. Typically, he or she will recommend a combination of X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs to determine the exact extent of the condition. Our Orthopedics and Sports Medicine center offers all of these services under one roof. 

When Dupuytren’s contracture is just starting, it can be treated with:

  • Physical therapy to help keep the finger and tendon flexible
  • A shot of steroid medicine to help prevent or slow thickening and stiffening of the tissues.

Other treatments may include:

  • Using a needle to break up the stiff contracting tissues. Your care team puts a needle through the skin and tears the attachments of the tissues that are making the finger bend.
  • Injecting a medicine called Xiaflex into the affected area. The medicine softens and weakens the thick tissue causing the contracture. Xiaflex and steroid shots have risks. For example, they may cause the tendon to tear (rupture).

The disease may worsen very slowly, but it will not go away. Your healthcare team will want to see you about every six months. If the problem keeps getting worse, or it is impossible to put your hand flat on a table, your healthcare team may suggest surgery to cut and remove the thickened tissue in the hand. This can be difficult if there is a lot of scarring in your hand and if tissues, including the skin, have grown together. The surgery is called Dupuytren's contracture release.

If you have surgery, you should not use your hand for several weeks after the procedure. You may have to wear a bulky dressing, cast, or splint for a while. You will likely have physical therapy for one to two months after surgery to help get back full use of your finger and hand.

Dupuytren's can come back after treatment, especially if you don’t have physical therapy and don’t do exercises at home.

HOW CAN I MANAGE DUPUYTREN'S CONTRACTURE?

Dupuytren's contracture cannot be prevented due to its genetic nature, and usually continues to build over a patient’s lifetime. It can become more likely or more severe because of diabetes or alcoholism. When it begins to cause pain, restriction in finger movement, or interference with daily activities, various treatment options are available. However, not smoking and having a healthy lifestyle helps to prevent conditions that may be a factor in developing Dupuytren's.

Source: Content is adapted from our Live Well Library, developed by RelayHealth. Copyright ©2014 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.

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