Dupuytren’s disease is a condition whose cause is uncertain. The condition is manifested by a hard lump of skin that usually forms on the fingers. The connective tissue accumulates over the palms of both hands although one hand may be more affected than the other. The disease begins with a local accumulation but then spreads to other parts of the body as it develops in the later years. The disease is usually observed to affect the middle and ring fingers although the index finger may be affected as well. Dupuytren disease treatment can be administered to individuals with severe cases of the disease.
Theories on the Cause of Dupuytren’s Disease
Many researchers are now thinking that the lump of connective tissue is the product of the medications taken by epileptic patients. Such medications, as they observe, make the individual more vulnerable to having Dupuytren’s disease. Epileptic medications increase the production of components that trigger the formation of the condition.
Age also seems to be a significant factor because people aged 30 to 40 seem to be more susceptible to the disease than other age groups. If certain areas of the hands such as the palms and fingers are affected, it will be difficult for the individual to move his fingers or use them.
Causes and Mechanisms of the Disease
There are several theories as to what causes the disease but all of the theories are still inconclusive. It has also been observed that the condition develops gradually over time. It’s very difficult to determine its symptoms because the whole development is painless. The most obvious symptom is the inability to move your fingers properly.
The tissue itself is non-cancerous and usually non-traumatic. The connective tissue grows over and under the skin of the palms, affecting some of the tendons along these areas. It will be difficult for the patient to do certain tasks with the hand like holding a glass of water in place or grabbing something out of his pocket. These are some of the worst cases. The connective tissue is sensitive but it would be painless.
Painless but Troublesome Condition
Individuals with Dupuytren’s disease seek medical attention not because of pain but because of the difficulty to do basic chores using the hands. Because the cause of the condition and its accumulation isn’t well understood, physicians have to try and treat the disease empirically. Surgery though, is one of the most effective treatments used under such circumstances.
Therapy May be Used
Therapy may be used to help patients become more mobile with their fingers. Oftentimes, education with regards to the disease is enough. Surgery is recommended in the long-run if cases are beyond therapy and deformities start to form. If you don’t like surgery, then your best alternative is prevention although the disease may recur from time to time and never completely eliminated.
The Goal of Treatment
It is the aim of treatment to improve the positioning of the fingers, allow it to open or close and improve the functioning of the hands. In less severe cases, where the condition is gradually developing, pain will not be felt and the functioning of the hand will not be affected. Regular assessment will still be required in the process. With severe cases however, a number of treatment options for straightening affected fingers are important. This treatment involves the breaking or removing of cords that pull your fingers to your palms.
In your initial consultation, appropriate treatments will be based on the pattern and stage of your condition and which of the joints are affected. Before commencing treatment, it is crucial to set realistic aims and talk about possible results and risks.
The Disease May Recur Even after Treatment
It is also vital to take note that permanent cure for the disease has not been discovered yet. In spite of treatment, the disease may recur in the long run. The important thing here is to maximize the functionality of your hands during the various stages of the disease.
There are various ways of straightening the fingers and releasing the contractures. Such treatment options may include minimal needling techniques like needle aponeurotomy or percutaneous needle fasciotomy, conservative measures like splinting, and open surgery or fasciectomy.