Removing the abnormal tissue will allow you to use your hand more normally.
Are there any alternative treatments?
If you have a band of thickened fascia in your palm, but you can still straighten your fingers fully, you do not need an operation. Surgery is not necessary if you can lay your hand completely flat on a table. Not all fascial bands go on to need surgery.
If you have a band in your palm that is bending your finger at its base, it may be possible to simply cut the band in the outpatient clinic. This procedure is called a needle fasciotomy. This may delay the time until an operation is the only option.
Physiotherapy will not help. There are no tablets or injections that affect Dupuytren’s contracture.
What if you do nothing?
Your finger will probably become more bent. If the first joint of your finger becomes severely bent, it may not be possible to straighten it with surgery. This is because the joint itself may become contracted.
Who should have it done?
If you have Dupuytren’s disease and you cannot lay your hand flat, you will probably benefit from surgery.
Who should not have it done?
You should not have a general anaesthetic if you have major medical problems, such as high blood pressure or a bad heart. However, the operation may be able to be done using a local or regional anaesthetic.
Author: Mr Boyd Goldie MBBS FRCS BSC DHMSA. Consultant in orthopaedics & trauma.
© Dumas Ltd 2006