Health conditions that concern the hand tend to be due to lifestyle, genetics, or both. It is not fully known what causes Dupuytren’s contracture.
You have probably seen advertisements of a retired football quarterback suffering from Dupuytren’s contracture – which implies that lifestyle or profession may be a contributing factor to developing this condition. What happens is that the skin on the palm of the hand becomes thick, and this thickening causes a lump to form. This thickened tissue naturally pulls one or more fingers downward toward the palm, and the finger is thereby difficult or impossible to bring back up again.
Let’s talk about the symptoms and treatment of Dupuytren’s contracture, and where you can go in Plantation and Miami Lakes for efficient and effective medical treatment for your hand condition.
Symptoms of Dupuytren’s Contracture
Dupuytren’s contracture usually progresses slowly over a course of years. Common symptoms of this disease include:
- Inability to rest your hand flat on a table, so your fingers are all flat and straight
- Formation of one or more small lumps in the palm
- The lumps feel thick or tight
- Skin is compressed and/or puckered near the lumps
- The finger adjacent to the lump is pulled toward the palm
- Hand mobility is restricted or nonexistent
Treatments for Dupuytren’s Contracture
Treatment is partially based on severity, and the severity of your condition is largely determined by the tabletop rest test:
- Lay your hand on a table, palm down.
- See if your hand can lie flat on the table. If not, you may have Dupuytren’s contracture.
Your hand doctor will recommend and prescribe a treatment plan based on your:
- Age – This condition usually starts in middle age or later.
- Severity – Your doctor will assess how severe your case is, and whether they expect it to get worse.
- Allergies and underlying conditions – These are considered to ensure that no allergies or adverse drug reactions will occur with a given treatment.
- Decision – It is totally up to you whether to have any of these interventions or not. This is true of any healthcare condition you have – your body is your own.
There is no known cure for Dupuytren’s contracture, so the interventions your doctor will provide will help to address the symptoms. Common treatments for this disease are:
This procedure is also called needle aponeurotomy. Needling is a newer, minimally invasive procedure in which a doctor uses a needle to break the lump of tissue under the skin of the palm. (Do not try this yourself, or you could damage nerves and cause paralysis in your hand.) Anesthesia is first injected into the area to numb the hand.
Though new lumps of tissue may recur, this procedure can be safely repeated. This procedure is also favored because it requires no incision, and it can be done to several fingers at once.
Enzyme injections are a recently developed minimally invasive technique. Your doctor will first inject anesthesia in the hand to numb the area. Then, they will inject the enzyme directly into the lumps of tissue.
Over the course of a few hours, the enzymes will soften and break down the lumps. This will enable your doctor to return your finger(s) to the correct position, usually on the next day.
This treatment is typically the best option for patients with advanced cases. Your hand surgeon will make an incision to remove the thickened tissues in the hand.
Hand and Wrist Center in Miami Lakes and Plantation, Florida
If you’re looking for a medical diagnosis and treatment of your hand condition, then look no further than The Orthopaedic Hand and Arm Center. Our board-certified lead doctor and surgeon is here to provide you with the finest care, from diagnosis to treatment and rehabilitation – and beyond.
If you would like to learn more about us or our medical services, contact us today at (888) 908-9036 or fill out our online appointment request form. Let us help you get back the normal usefulness of your hand!