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Treatment

You have
options

Is there a natural
way to treat my symptoms?

There are no treatments that prevent or slow Dupuytren’s contracture. However, there are ways to reduce discomfort.

Apply cold

Icing your hands can help ease pain caused by inflammation. A bag of softened ice cream or frozen peas works well.

Apply heat

Heat can help ease pain and stiffness while calming muscle spasms. Heat packs are perfect in this case.

Padded gloves

Padded bike gloves can be helpful for protecting your palms during certain manual activities. That said, if your fingers are already curled inward, wearing gloves might be difficult.

Painkillers

Certain pain medications, like acetaminophen or paracetamol, can help. You can also use anti-inflammatory gels or pills if your pharmacist recommends them.

Cortisone shots

Cortisone shots can soften the nodules and may slow the condition down. They are not an effective treatment if contracture has already set in.

Paraffin baths

Wax transmits a moist heat that can be especially soothing. Soak your hand three to five times in the paraffin solution, letting the layer of wax air dry between each dip. Then wrap your waxed hand in plastic and cover it with a towel to keep it warm.

You can get your hands back.

Do shots help?

Cortisone shots can temporarily ease symptoms and may help slow the condition down. They are not an effective treatment if contracture has already set in.

How do I know it’s
time for surgery?

In most cases, Dupuytren’s contracture develops slowly over many years, but it can often flare up unexpectedly. You might have minor symptoms for years that suddenly worsen. Surgery is considered an option once the fingers start to stiffen into a curled position and patients can no longer flatten their hand on a table.

The tabletop test is a helpful way to see how your symptoms are progressing. Place your hand flat on a table. If you can’t completely flatten your hand and fingers, you probably need surgery. Do the tabletop test regularly to keep an eye on your condition. You can also take pictures of your palms to document any changes.

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Say goodbye to pain today

What does surgical
treatment entail?

What different techniques are used?

While there isn’t a cure for Dupuytren’s contracture, there are ways to straighten your curled fingers. Your surgeon can use several techniques, including fasciectomy and percutaneous needle aponevrotomy. Your surgeon will choose the best technique based on the severity of your contracture. Given that it is minimally invasive, the percutaneous needle aponevrotomy technique has significant advantages.

Fasciectomy

Fasciectomies are one of the most common treatments for Dupuytren’s contracture. The procedure involves removing the affected tissue that is causing the curling. Your surgeon will open the palm with either a zig-zag or straight incision. Some patients require skin grafts. After a fasciectomy, patients must wear compression bandages on the operated hand for one to two weeks. They also require physio after their operations. The risk of complications varies depending on the extent of the operation, and the condition frequently comes back.

Percutaneous needle aponevrotomy

This technique involves using a tiny needle to perforate the bands of connective tissue that are causing the fingers to curl. Compared to the traditional surgical method, which involves the removal of the affected tissue, the percutaneous approach helps restore hand function immediately with minimal discomfort and recovery time. The procedure requires local anesthesia and only takes a few minutes. It is the fastest, least invasive way to treat Dupuytren’s contracture.

What are the benefits of
percutaneous needle aponevrotomies?

Since they are less invasive than traditional surgery, percutaneous needle aponevrotomies have several advantages, especially for patient comfort and recovery:

  • Local anesthesia
  • Completed in minutes
  • Minimal discomfort
  • No incision or scar
  • Low risk of complications
  • No postoperative care required
  • No physio required
  • Ability to use hand immediately

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A first step towards recovery

How long does
recovery take?

Your recovery depends on your treatment plan. If you have surgery (fasciectomy), your recovery might take three to six months. Physiotherapy is needed to minimize stiffness and achieve the best clinical result.

Since they are less invasive, percutaneous needle aponevrotomies significantly reduce recovery time and postoperative discomfort. Patients see immediate relief of their symptoms and can return to most normal activities and work just a few days afterwards. Postoperative care isn’t required.

You can start
smiling again, too!

Key
takeaways

_________________

Is surgery always necessary?

When symptoms first appear, they can be eased using conservative treatments. If they continue to worsen to the point that they affect a patient’s quality of life, we recommend consulting a hand surgeon.

Which surgical technique is best?

Fasciectomies and aponevrotomies have similar success rates. Aponevrotomies offer advantages with respect to comfort and recovery that are often the deciding factor.

How long does it take to recover?

Recovery time can range from a few days to six months, depending on which treatment a patient chooses. Since they are less invasive, aponevrotomies allow patients to recover and return to normal faster.

How do I find a surgeon?

Get a referral from your physician or a personal acquaintance, or do your own research. Learn about the experience and skills of any surgeon you meet with. Wait times can vary greatly from clinic to clinic.

Can Dupuytren’s contracture come back?

Dupuytren’s contracture frequently comes back. It might be a good idea to go with a less invasive technique that can be performed again if needed.

Guide médical
pratique complet

Ce que vous devez savoir pour reconnaître et traiter la maladie de Dupuytren. Rédigé dans un langage clair et concis par le Dr Jean-Paul Brutus, chirurgien de la main et du poignet, ce livret électronique identifie les causes, les signes et les différentes méthodes de traitement de la maladie, tout en proposant des conseils pour soulager soi-même les symptômes.