Dupuytren's contracture is a condition in which there is a thickening of the tissues in the palm and in the fingers and thumb. The thickened tissue forces several fingers - usually your ring and pinky fingers - to curl in toward your palm. The bending caused by the thick tissue is called contracture.
Signs and symptoms of Dupuytrens Contracture may include
- The first symptoms for many patients is one or more lumps (nodules) under the skin in the palm of the hand. The lump may feel tender and sore at first, but this discomfort eventually goes away.
- The pinkie and ring fingers are most often affected, appearing clenched. Both hands are usually involved, although one may have worse symptoms than the other.
- The thickening of the skin usually happens very slowly. You don't need treatment unless your symptoms bother you.
Some patients with Dupuytren's disease may develop thickened tissue on the feet (Ledderhose disease) or penis (Peyronie's disease). Symptoms do not occur anywhere else on the body.
Preparing For Your Dupuytrens Contracture Surgery
Before you have your surgery, there are a few preparation tips that we recommend. You shouldn't eat or drink anything after midnight the night before. It is important to follow your surgeon's pre and post-op advice as this is specific to you. We may ask for detailed descriptions of your symptoms and information about medical problems you've had in the past.
Post Operative Activities
- Patients who have an external fixator applied for severe or recurrence contractures care shown how to care for the fixator both in terms of cleaning and maintaining mobility of the joints.
- The second operation which involves a dermofasciectomy and a skin graft is usually scheduled four to six weeks following the application of the external fixator when the finger has been completely straightened.
- Most patients have good return of function in their operative hand. After Dupuytren's surgery to straighten out your fingers, the toughest part is regaining finger flexion and the ability to make a tight fist.
- Most patients have good grip at one month but recovery may take 1-3 months for full finger flexion and strong grip with the hand.