Dupuytren's contraction is a benign disease of the connective tissue in the palm of the hand. It occurs mostly on the hand, but sometimes also on the foot, and occasionally on the penis. Even today, the cause is not entirely clear, but the condition is often genetic.
At the outset, Dupuytren's disease becomes noticeable by the formation of hard strands or nodal mutations, mostly in the palm of the hand. At later stages, an extensional inhibition / flexion contracture of the fingers can be observed. Most frequently it is the little finger and the ring finger that are affected, but in principle this clinical picture can also occur on other fingers, including the thumb.
There are many forms of conservative treatment for Dupuytren's contraction, but they are often of questionable benefit and the side effects they cause are in some cases very considerable. In advanced stages - especially with rapid deterioration and loss of traction on one joint or on multiple joints of the same finger - a surgical procedure is therefore recommended. These surgical measures aim to sever obtrusive strands or remove the diseased tissue, so as to make it possible to extend the diseased finger(s) again and prevent the disease from recurring.
Very early operation, however, should be avoided, since relapses and repeat operations must be expected, with the latter sometimes involving technical problems. Having said that, if surgical treatment is carried out too late, it may no longer be possible to compensate fully for the contraction of the various tissues.
DURATION OF OPERATION: depending on difficulty, approx. 60 minutes or longer
ANAESTHETIC: optionally short anaesthetic or brachial plexus anaesthetic
HOSPITALISATION: usually out-patient
AFTER-TREATMENT: suture removal after 10 – 12 days
PRESENTABILITY, RETURN TO WORK: as from approx. 14 days
SPORT: after complete healing
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