Dupuytren’s Contracture of the Hand
The fascia of the palm is a layer of tissue that helps anchor and stabilize the skin of the palm. Patients with Dupuytren's have fascia that thickens and tightens, which pulls the fingers into a flexed or bent position. This is usually genetic, and can often be traced through a family lineage. It is more common in Northern European males, but can be seen in any ethnicity.
Typically, the diagnosis of Dupuytren's contracture can be made in the office by your provider. Xrays and MRI are not usually necessary.
- XIAFLEX® injection can be performed in the office by Dr. Fleager, followed by a finger manipulation 1 week later, with local numbing medicine. XIAFLEX acts like a “chemical knife”, and cuts the cord to release the tension on the finger. XIAFLEX does not get rid of the entire cord, it just breaks the cord in half so that your finger will regain some motion.
- Needle aponeurotomy uses local numbing medicine and a needle to cut the cord in half and release the tension on the finger. Needle aponeurotomy does not get rid of the entire cord, it just breaks the cord in half so that your finger will regain some motion.
If your symptoms do not respond to the above non-operative treatments, surgery remains an option. Dr. Fleager will perform what is called a fasciectomy to remove the abnormal tissue and cords in order to improve range of motion and function of the finger. Either a small section of the cord, or the entire cord, can be removed. This is a day surgery that allows you to return home the same day.
It is important to remember, that no matter what treatment you pursue, there is a good chance that the Dupuytrens will recur sometime in your life. I understand that this is very frustrating for patients, but this is the unfortunate nature of the disease.