Just Diagnosed With Dupuytren's Contracture? Here's What You Should Know.

Just Diagnosed With Dupuytren's Contracture? Here's What You Should Know.

If you’re newly diagnosed with Dupuytren’s contracture, you’re probably full of questions and concerns. It’s natural to feel worried, but elite plastic and hand surgery specialist Walter D Gracia, MD, PA, is here to rest your fears and give Dupuytren’s contracture treatment options that fit your personal needs. 

In our January blog, we’re covering all the essential info you need as someone recently diagnosed with Dupuytren’s contracture. 

How Dupuytren’s contracture happens

Dupuytren’s contracture happens when a finger (or several fingers) bend abnormally, curving into the palm of your hand. It usually affects the ring and pinky fingers. 

The condition develops when the fascia (fibrous connective tissue) inside your hands thickens. Over time, the fascia forms knotty cords, which causes shortening and leads to finger bending.

Experts are still investigating the underlying causes of Dupuytren’s contracture. But we can treat your symptoms and correct the fascia problems that cause finger bending.

How Dupuytren’s contracture affects your life

Dupuytren’s contracture affects everyone differently. But it worsens over months and years if you don’t treat it. You may develop dimpled-looking skin on the palms of your hands and may have difficulty with: 

Symptoms can affect one or both hands. In severe cases, Dupuytren’s contracture can render your hands virtually unusable unless treated. 

Treatments for Dupuytren’s contracture

There are a variety of options for treatment. Dr. Gracia expertly evaluates your needs with a physical exam of your hands, sensation tests in your thumb and fingers, range-of-motion tests, and noting the position of knots and cords in your hands. 

We can then determine what treatment options suit you best. Some of the main options are: 

Nonsurgical options

One nonsurgical option is steroid injections. Corticosteroids can combat inflammation and ease symptoms but are only a short-term solution. 

Another nonsurgical option is Collagenase injections. This enzyme specifically targets the type of collagen in Dupuytren’s cords. It breaks down the tough cords, which can be snapped (broken apart) the next day. However, the condition can come back after the injections.

Surgery

Surgery is a long-term solution for severe Dupuytren’s contracture. One common method is fasciotomy, in which Dr. Gracia creates an incision in your palm and sections the cords. He doesn’t remove tissue. This helps reduce finger curling and improves the mobility of the fingers involved. 

For the most severe Dupuytren’s contracture (or cases that are highly likely to progress), Dr. Gracia may recommend a partial palmar fasciectomy. In this surgery, he removes the unhealthy tissue, including the knots and cords, which allows your fingers to move normally again. 

Dr. Gracia is a premier hand surgeon with about 30 years of experience and continued dedication to expanding his knowledge and sharpening his skills further. You’re in the best hands no matter which procedure you choose. 

Want to learn more about how we can help with Dupuytren’s contracture? Phone our office at 817–336-9450 or online

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