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Learning More About Dupuytren’s Contracture

When it comes to an orthopedic surgeon, Fox Valley residents from Green Bay to Oshkosh might need to make an appointment with one for a variety of reasons. One of these reasons is a condition known as Dupuytren’s Contracture. If you have not had this condition, you are likely not familiar with it because it is not very common. When it occurs, the hand is affected by a contracture that comes on gradually. The layer of tissue just before the skin is the one that is affected and the area of the hand where this occurs is the palm. Over time, tissue knots develop and as the condition progresses, the fingers can be pulled into an abnormally bent position.

Exploring the Causes

Experts have not yet determined what causes this condition. They do not feel that working a specific occupation or having a past injury increase your risk of developing it.

Looking at the Symptoms

This condition tends to get worse over time. In the earliest of stages, patients might not notice it at all. They might just feel like their hand is still or tired. However, as it gets worse, you might notice some dimpling or puckering on the palm of your hand. You might also be able to feel a firm lump on your palm. You may notice some sensitivity when you put pressure on this lump, but significant pain usually does not occur. As the condition continues to progress, you might notice the feeling of a cord that goes from your palm to your fingers. Your fingers eventually start to bend inward toward your palm. The most commonly affected fingers include the pinky finger and ring finger.

Getting an Accurate Diagnosis

A physical examination is typically all a doctor needs to diagnose this condition. However, your doctor might also order X-rays and blood work to ensure that the diagnosis is accurate. Your doctor will let you know exactly what is needed to get you an accurate diagnosis.

Treatment Options

There are several treatment options your doctor might explore to improve your condition. Needling is a possible treatment to help break the cord that is causing your finger to contract. Enzyme injections directly into the cord might also be helpful to weaken it and make the cord easier to break. As a last resort when nothing else works, you doctor might need to remove the offending tissue with surgery.

You can see that Dupuytren’s contracture can be a condition that is very difficult to deal with. If you believe you might have this condition, you should make an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon to get a diagnosis. The sooner treatment is started, the sooner you can start to regain your quality of life.

If you would like to request a consultation with one of the orthopedic specialists at the Orthopedic & Sports Institute (OSI), please call (920) 560-1000 or request an appointment online.

The Orthopedic & Sports Institute has convenient locations to serve you. In addition to the flagship facility in Appleton, you will find outreach clinics in New London, Ripon, Shawano, Waupaca, and the newest location serving the Green Bay area, inside the NOVO Health Clinic in De Pere.

OSI is a proud member of NOVO Health.