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Dupuytren’s Disease

Dupuytren’s Disease

Dupuytren’s disease is a condition where the thick layer of tissue between the skin and the tendons of the palm become thickened or contracted.  Sometimes this conditions starts out as a hard nodule or cord.  This thickened tissue can ultimately progress and produce unwanted bending of the fingers.  This process can result in an inability to fully extend the fingers, thereby limiting activity.

Dupuytren’s Disease Cause

The cause of Dupuytren’s contracture is unknown.  It is a non-malignant condition and is usually painless.  The condition often runs in families.  The disease is more common in males than females.  The condition was first described in Scandinavia.  It is believed that the Vikings spread the disease throughout Northwestern Europe.  As a result, it is almost exclusively seen in those of Northern European descent.

Dupuytren’s Disease Treatment

The traditional treatment for Dupuytren’s Disease was surgical excision. However, secondary to the long recovery (up to 6 weeks) and risks of this extensive surgery such as nerve damage, scarring, and even digital loss, this is now reserved only for the most severe cases.  More recently, a minimally invasive technique involving a single drug injection, called Xiaflex, into the cord can literally melt away the disease. This results in less pain and little to no recovery time. Most often, you won’t have to miss a single tee time, day on your bike,  or day of hunting season.

Treatment with Graham Plastic Surgery

Dr. Graham is the only fellowship trained hand surgeon in the Victor/Canandaigua area.  This means he spent an extra year of training doing nothing but surgery on the hand.  In this year he evaluated over 4-5000 patients with various hand problems.  Completing his fellowship at the world renowned Kleinert Institute in Louisville, KY, he learned from several experts in the field and has learned the most advanced methods to treat Dupuytren’s disease.  His preferred treatment is nonsurgical. The treatment entails an injection called collagenase(trade name Xiaflex).  This is a simple injection that is placed into the thickened cord.  Over the next 24-48 hours the cord is liquefied and the digit can then be straightened.  This method is simple, can be performed in the office, has less risk, and results in a minimal recovery time.