What is Dupuytren’s disease?

Dupuytren’s disease is a condition where scar-like tissue forms just beneath the skin of your fingers and the palm of your hand. Over time, this fibrous tissue can contract and force one or more fingers to curl up into the palm. This is known as Dupuytren’s contracture.

What does the operation involve?

Dupuytren's fasciectomy can range from simply cutting a fibrous band in the palm of your hand to removing all of the affected skin and replacing it with skin grafts. Various anaesthetic techniques are possible. After the operation, you should be able to make better use of your hand and straighten the affected fingers more. 

How soon will I recover after Dupuytren's fasciectomy?

You should be able to go home the same day. Your surgeon may arrange for you to have a splint to wear on your hand at night, and some physiotherapy to help get your fingers moving again. It is also important to exercise your shoulder and elbow gently to prevent stiffness.

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Are there any alternatives to a Dupuytren's fasciectomy?

The consultant may be able to perform a needle aponeurotomy (inserting a small needle under the skin to release the tight cords). However, there is a higher risk of the contracture coming back. Collagenase can be injected into the bands of tissue but this is a new treatment and it is unclear how effective it is. The most effective treatment is surgery.

What complications can happen?

General complications

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection of the surgical site (wound)
  • Scarring

 Specific complications

  • Injury to an artery in the finger
  • Incomplete correction of the Dupuytren’s contracture
  • Return of Dupuytren's disease
  • Stiffness of the finger joints
  • Numbness
  • Wound-healing problems
  • Severe pain, stiffness and loss of use of the hand (complex regional pain syndrome)

Information leaflet

This document is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

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Acknowledgements
Prof Tim Davis ChM FRCS (Tr. & Orth.)
Medical Illustration Copyright © Nucleus Medical Art. All rights reserved. 
Copyright © 2019 EIDO Healthcare Limited
The operation and treatment information on this webpage is produced using information from EIDO Healthcare Ltd and is licensed by the Horder Centre. The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

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