Treatment Methods for Dupuytren’s Disease
Dupuytren’s disease is a skin disorder that causes lumps or cords to form in the palm of the hand. As these lumps or cords develop, it can pull certain fingers down toward the palm. Also referred to as Dupuytren’s contracture, this condition can interfere with many day-to-day activities, including writing or holding objects.
Causes of Dupuytren’s Disease
The exact cause of Dupuytren’s disease is not known to the medical community at this time. Though certain people may have a higher risk of developing Dupuytren’s disease based on:
- Age — People are more likely to develop Dupuytren’s disease after their 50th birthday;
- Diabetes — If a person has diabetes, it can contribute to a higher risk of Dupuytren’s disease;
- Gender — Men have a higher chance than women of developing moderate or severe Dupuytren’s disease;
- Genetics — If a person has family members who contracted Dupuytren’s disease, they are more likely to as well;
- Heritage — People with ancestors from Northern Europe are more likely to develop Dupuytren’s disease; or
- Tobacco/Alcohol Use — If a person smokes or drinks alcohol, it can be a risk factor for Dupuytren’s disease.
Symptoms of Dupuytren’s Disease
The symptoms of Dupuytren’s disease generally evolve slowly over the course of time. At first, the skin in the palm of the hand begins to thicken. As Dupuytren’s disease progresses, a firm lump begins to protrude from the palm. This type of lump is typically sensitive, but not necessarily painful, to the touch.
When Dupuytren’s disease becomes more severe, the tissue in the palm develops into thick cords, sometimes running up toward the fingers. As these cords enlarge, the fingers can be pulled inward toward the palm. In most cases, the little and ring fingers are the most affected. Though infrequently, Dupuytren’s disease can also pull the index finger or thumb toward the palm as well.
Treatment of Dupuytren’s Disease
Before treatment, a medical professional will ordinarily conduct a diagnosis for Dupuytren’s disease. Generally speaking, a physical examination is sufficient to diagnose this condition. Imaging tests and other procedures are not usually required.
Once the diagnosis is complete, a medical professional can recommend appropriate treatment methods. Given the complexity of Dupuytren’s disease, patients are strongly discouraged from attempting to straighten bent fingers or engaging in self-treatment. Doing so could worsen the condition or result in additional complications.
Depending on the patient’s medical history and individual characteristics, a medical professional could suggest any of the treatment options below for Dupuytren’s disease:
- Needling — Inserting a needle into the skin to puncture the lumps or cords can alleviate Dupuytren’s disease;
- Injection — The injection of enzymes can diminish or disable the thick cords of Dupuytren’s disease; or
- Surgery — When other treatment methods fail, surgery may be the best option to secure long-term relief from Dupuytren’s disease.
Receive Medical Treatment for Dupuytren’s Disease
If you believe that you have Dupuytren’s disease, it can be markedly productive to reach out to a trusted orthopaedic surgeon. At the Orthopaedic Associates of Riverside, our team of surgeons all have board certifications and a distinct focus on orthopaedic conditions, including Dupuytren’s disease. If you need medical treatment for Dupuytren’s disease, contact us today!