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Dupuytren’s Disease Symptoms

The role of the hand in our lives is very vital in maintaining a normal way of living. If anything happens to our hands, there will be a decrease in our daily productivity. A multitude of disease may hit our hands. It could come from viruses or bacteria, and also there are the common tissue disorders. One of the hand diseases that affect both the palm and the finger is the disease known as the hand contractures or the Dupuytren’s disease. This is a type of disease that slowly causes the tightening of tissues found underneath the skin of the palm and fingers. Because of the tightening, this will result in the bending of fingers towards the palms, not allowing an individual to fully stretch their fingers on the long run, or more severely, not allowing the fingers to move. Dupuytren’s disease, as of the moment, is known to be a disease that is inherited. There are medical remedies like injecting cortisone to prevent further tightening of the tissues. There are also surgeries that will help treat individuals with a much more severe case. The easiest way to prevent resolving this disease through surgery is by knowing the early developmental stages and learning Dupuytren’s disease symptoms.

Dupuytren’s Disease Symptoms

Dupuytren’s disease is a naturally occurring disease under the skin, through the start of its development and in its early stages, pain is not a symptom. Moreover, there are no recognizable symptoms in the first stages of tightening. But later on, there are visible marks and changes on the hand. The earliest visible symptom is the recognizable abnormal thickening of the skin, it can be said that it is an abnormal growth when the thickness of the skin is not equal along the rest of the palm. The thickening can be seen near the ring finger and pinky. After a time, recognizable dimples will develop and can be seen. If still left untreated, the skin will continually harden and will result in a much larger clump of skin on the palm. The skin, in turn, will start to become very sensitive to the touch but not actually painful. The symptoms will get worse. The lump will eventually grow larger and harder. In severe cases, a tendon like form can be seen. It is then recognizable to be unable to fully stretch the fingers. Later on, the fingers will be visibly closer to the palm and can no longer be fully straightened. In this case, the disease has reached its middle stages and must be checked by a specialist before the hand may lose its capability of moving.

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Dupuytren Finger

Dupuytren Contracture or Morbus Dupuytren, Palmar Fibromatosis or Dupuytren’s disease is a thriving and inherited connective tissue which interferes with the straightening and bending of the fingers. A working knowledge on Dupuytren contracture symptoms and treatment is required for patients to get through the condition with less hassle.

Dupuytren Finger

Affected areas generally include the pinky and ring finger. As the condition becomes worse, it would only be matter of time before it includes the middle finger. The condition deteriorates slowly in a usually painless manner. A patient with Dupuytren finger will observe the palmar fascia thicken, then tendons thicken and the alterations in the movements of the fingers.

This condition has a greater chance of manifesting in men nearing age 40. But at the age of 80, both female and male will have a similar chance of getting Dupuytren Contracture.

The cause of the disease hasn’t been discovered yet. Recent studies revealed that these conditions could be linked to autoimmune reactions. Such reactions cause an individual’s autoimmune system to ravage its own tissues and gradually attack other parts of the body like the genitals and feet. It’s hard to figure out the symptoms since the disease develops slowly and painlessly. But some of the symptoms you can detect include the following:

Starting Symptoms

At the start of the disease, you will observe a thickening on your palm’s skin. As the disease develops, the skin over your palm will appear dimpled and wrinkled. You will observe a hard lump of tissue growing on the palm which may react to touch although generally painless.

Late Symptoms

As the disease worsens, the tissues beneath the skin will bend slowly towards the fingers and slowly tighten up. For serious cases, the fingers can be pulled towards the palms and make it hard for you to keep them straight.

In majority of cases, the pinky and ring finger are the ones that are commonly affected. It is only a rare occasion when the index finger and thumb are affected. For 45% of the cases, Dupuytren’s contracture affects both hands but one hand would appear more affected than the other. The disease affects the soles and toes only on rare occasions.

Dupuytren Finger

For severe cases, the condition may give both you and your family some problems. It will be hard for you to do the simplest tasks. It is even more difficult for you to shake someone else’s hand.

Should you observe these symptoms, it is best to seek medical support and obtain the advice of a physician so that treatment can be administered as soon as possible.

Treatment for Dupuytren’s Contracture

Treatment for the disease is administered to revive the affected hand in the best way possible. Treatment would consist of:

  • Injection
  • Surgery

Surgery is advised for contractures that limit the functionality of one’s hand. Surgery will entail the opening of the skin on affected areas and operating on the fibrous tissue. Your first surgery may not be enough and another surgery may be needed if the condition recurs.

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Dupuytren Disease Treatment

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

Dupuytren Disease Treatment

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

Dupuytren Disease Treatment

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.

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Hand Contractures Treatment

Try to flex your fingers as hard as you can, if you have problem or difficulty in achieving a full stretch, your fingers to be fully straight, and then you might be suffering from a disorder commonly known as hand contractures, in other terms known as Dupuytren’s disease. Hand contractures usually happen with the pinky and the ring finger. The middle finger sometimes is affected but the thumb and the pointer finger are spared most of the time. This condition might be irritating and later on will cause problems. In the long run, the fingers will eventually come closer to the palm and would result to uselessness of the hand itself.

Causes and Origin

This disease is known to affect the tissues that are found under the skin of the palm. Later on, these tissues tighten and will cause the fingers to move closer to the palm. Through recent studies and research, there is not much known cause or origin of this disease but it might run along the gene. Research states that people with hand contractures had them in their bloodline, but other than that, trauma is a possible cause also. According to recent studies, it has been seen that there are signs of minor bleeding within the tissue affected symbolizing trauma. This trauma is may be caused by hard labor. This disease is usually seen in aging males and is not likely in females. But there are cases of younger individuals who suffer from the disease itself, there are Hand Contractures Treatment to help lessen the development, or to actually cure the disease.

Hand Contractures Treatment

Different Treatments

In the early stages of hand contracture, when symptoms start to develop, cortisone injections are the usual treatment. With the use of the injections, the tightening of the tissues is either lessened or stopped. But in worse cases in which there are recognizable effects like inability to move the pinky or the ring finger, surgery is the most applicable treatment that can be done. There are two ways in treating severe case hand contractures, the common and the earliest form is through the process of an open surgery. In this process, large cuts are made on the palm and also on the affected fingers. The contracted or contracting tissues are then removed. The problem with this procedure is that it leaves large scars and is more likely to develop complications compared to needle aponeurotomy.

NA or needle aponeurotomy, on the other hand, is a much more delicate process in which a needle is used to separate the contracting tissue under the skin. The good side with this procedure is that this will only leave small scar marks on the hand and is less likely to develop complications compared with the open surgery.

Hand contracture will certainly redevelop itself after a period of time whether you treat it through surgery or NA, NA will cause it to come back with a time span of at least 3 years while surgery, on the other hand, is 5 years.

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Vikings Disease in the Hands

In early ages, a large fleet of Vikings invaded England and conquered the land for nearly 300 years. It is said that the Vikings were mainly responsible for the disease that spread across England which were also named after them – the Viking’s disease. Vikings disease is the shortening and hardening of tissues. Generally, this can be seen happening in the hands mostly but there are also cases that they occur between the sole of the foot and the toes. Other term for Vikings diseases in hands is the Dupuytren’s disease. This happens between the fingers and the palms. What happens is that the tissue underneath the skin of the palm and finger that connects them contracts and hardens resulting to the fingers, usually the ring finger and pinky, gradually come closer to the palm.

Vikings Disease in the Hands

The symptoms of Vikings disease is an uneven thickening of the skin on the hand between the palm and the fingers. It will later develop a dimple and when left untreated will then harden. Furthermore in this stage, the hard lump of skin may not be painful to the touch but is very sensitive. Vikings disease runs through the blood, meaning it is a hereditary disease though there are factors that may trigger this. It also cannot be permanently treated. There are surgeries used to momentarily “cure” the disease in order to achieve full productivity of the hand. Injections are also used like cortisone to slow down or to momentarily stop the contraction of the tissue. In severe cases, it might be advised to remove the hardened contracted muscle through surgery. However, after 3 to 5 years, the disease will redevelop and it will need another treatment.

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