Dupuytren’s Contracture leaves the layer of tissue inside the palm skin completely damaged. It causes thick cords and knots that bend the fingers inside and prevent its further straightening. Life may turn up to be a huge challenge once the disease starts developing into the worst-case scenarios. To restore hand and wrist functionality, there are two types of treatments that can help:
- Surgical treatment for Dupuytren’s Contracture
- Non-Surgical Treatment for Dupuytren’s Contracture
Understand the Disease and Its Stages
During the early stage of Dupuytren’s disease, the tough connective tissue layer below the skin and over the muscles starts getting affected. The fascia starts thickening while causing cords and nodules inside the palm skin. The thick-sized fibres pull the skin of fingers inside, causing a permanent contracture. The worst stage scenario leaves the knuckles to thicken as well. Some of the affected patients have also reported showing symptoms on feet. The most affected fingers have been the small and the ring finger.
Dupuytren’s Contracture’s actual cause is yet unknown, though the medical practitioners believe it to be a type of autoimmune disease. This involves the body attacking its body tissues. The formation of pits and bumps under the skin look similar to cords and tendons formations. One may get affected on both hands at the same time. At first, the affected person may find it difficult to straighten the fingers, though it is not painful. With the progressing stage, the symptoms may turn up to severe condition. While the disease takes a huge amount of years to develop, it progresses to a severe stage in just weeks if left untreated.
Reasons to Avoid Surgical Treatment for Dupuytren’s Disease
Surgical treatment is considered to be the last resort. With the symptoms getting worse, the cord formations must be broken surgically to allow finger movement without any restrictions again.
One of the surgical approaches involves using to puncture the skin and break down the cords. The patient may have to come repeatedly multiple times if the symptoms start appearing again. Another method doesn’t involve an incision procedure as the needling isn’t an ideal treatment for cords forming too close to a nerve.
With a longer recovery period, here are some other complications in surgical treatment that makes you opt non surgical treatment for Dupuytren’s Contracture:
Recurrence of cord-formations
The appearance of Dupuytren’s cord formation, again and again, is almost a guarantee after surgical treatment. This condition is an endless road towards Contracture development. The current surgical treatment helps control the Contracture symptoms but fails to eradicate the root problem inside. The average time for recurrence of Dupuytren’s condition remains to be 3-5 years of surgery.
May lead to Nerve Injuries
One of the most feared complications of Dupuytren’s disease is ending up with a nerve injury. Since the cord formations are closely wrapped around the nerves, this may pull out the nerves and damage them. The patient may end up having numbness or tingling effect, and this could turn up to be a permanent problem for the whole life.
The most frustrating surgical treatment problem for dupuytren’s is the endless pain felt for days and weeks. The hands are prone to develop massive discomfort levels after the surgical treatment. Though the pain gets resolved, the chronic pain condition syndrome keeps causing disability and discomfort.
Skin damages are pretty common after surgical treatments, as the skin gets tightened and contracted repeatedly. The procedure leaves it with less flexibility and less suppleness. In worst cases, the skin may even tear and then require grafting to close the wounds. If the skin wounds are left open, they may become get infected with time.
Scar tissue is highly prevailing after surgical treatments. It limits the scope for future treatment procedures whenever Dupuytren’s Contracture reappears. The reaction developing under the skin leads to permanent formations of scar tissue.
Safe Recovery Road with Non-Surgical Treatment for Dupuytren’s
Getting non-surgical treatment done could be a safer option, especially at the early stage when you start to feel a cord formation beneath the palm skin. There are prescriptions injected directly into the cord that prevents the fingers from bending.
With infrared therapy, it takes weeks to heal the cord formations gradually. Most people recover within days with frequent use of Dupuytren’s Wand therapy. Since Dupuytren’s disease progression is slow, some patients may never come across the condition of fingers contracting. With non-surgical treatment for Dupuytren’s disease, it may stay in its early stage symptoms that involve thickening of the tissue on the palm and not get any worse.
When the disease is at a developed stage, it may progress towards contraction. Here, you should observe your symptoms over time. Even the slightest change or fingers bent may start to interfere with your quality of life, and it’s a sign to seek professional medical treatment.