Dupuytren’s contracture takes its name from the French surgeon Baron Dupuytren who first described the disease in the early 19th century. There is a tough tunic called fascia between the skin and muscles in our palms and our entire body.
The reason of the Dupuytren’s disease is the thickening of this fascia on the palms. Although the exact cause is not known, it was thought that microtraumas caused it, and it was also named as “Viking disease” because of its frequent occurrence in sailors and Northern European men.
Today, its relationship with diabetes and alcohol use is known. It can often observed in both hands. Dupuytren’s patients may have a similar condition on the soles of the feet and penis.
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Before Dupuytren’s Surgery
In Dupuytren’s disease, closure of the fingers and nodule formations on the palms are observed due to thickening and shortening of the fascia in the palm. Mostly the 4th and 5th fingers are affected.
The flexibility of the fingers is affected over time. When the patients put their palms on the ground, the palm of the hand becomes unable to touch the ground.
Surgery is required to open the fingers that are closed at a certain angle. It is important to quit smoking before the surgery in order to prevent the post-surgery deterioration of wound healing.
During Dupuytren’s Surgery
In limited cases, closed surgery can be applied. However, open surgery and removing all of the problematic tissues are preferred for the prevention of the recurrence of the disease.
Dupuytren’s surgery is usually performed under anesthesia, always in operating room conditions, in the form of anesthetizing the arm with a needle that is injected from the armpit, and without anesthetizing the patient and this is called axillary block.
If both hands are involved, initially one hand is operated and 3-4 weeks later, the second hand is operated. The surgery lasts approximately for 45-60 minutes.
After Dupuytren’s Surgery
After Dupuytren’s surgery, a splint can be used for 1 week upon the recommendation of the physician. Numbness in the hands and fingers is normal for a few hours after the surgery. Hand rest is recommended for 15 days after the surgery.
Smoking should not be allowed during this period. If the cause of dupuytre is known (such as using vibrating tools), changing the lifestyle after the surgery is recommended.