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Dupuytren's Disease

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How is it treated?

The goal of treatment is to keep your hand working as well as it can. You may not need treatment unless you have a contracture. Treatment options include:

  • Collagenase injection. A medicine called collagenase (such as Xiaflex) may be injected into the tight cord to try to dissolve some of the tissue. This may help reduce the contracture and improve your range of motion.
  • Needle aponeurotomy (say "ap-uh-noo-RAH-tuh-mee"). A needle is used to make small holes in the tight cords in the palm. Then the fingers are extended to separate the cords.
  • Surgery to remove or separate the affected tissue in the palm.

The surgery most often done for a contracture is called a fasciectomy (say "fash-ee-ECK-tuh-mee"). The surgeon removes the thick tissue under the skin of the palm. A skin graft may be done to cover open areas in the palm. After surgery, you will need to follow a program of hand exercises and massage to help you move your fingers again.

Your hand may work better after surgery, but you may not get back the full use of your hand. And even when surgery is successful, Dupuytren's comes back about half the time. So you might need another surgery later.

What can you do to keep Dupuytren's from getting worse?

If your symptoms are mild, you can try gentle stretching exercises and massage. There isn't much evidence that they reduce symptoms or slow the disease, but they are easy to do. And they may help keep your hand flexible.

You can also try to avoid curling your hand tightly. For example, you can use utensils and tools that have larger hand grips.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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