Dupytrens disease is a condition that affects the palmar fascia, which is the tissue layer under the skin of the palm. Scar tissue accumulates in the fascia and creates thickened tissue and/or nodules around the tendons in the palm. This accumulation contracts the finger and restricts full extension. As the deformity develops it is known as Dupytren’s contracture.
The diagnosis of Dupytren’s disease involves only a clinical consultation, as the condition is normally visible on examination, especially in severe cases. Radiology is usually not required to assist with the diagnosis.
Treatment of Dupytren’s contracture will depend on the severity of the condition. Non-surgical options may include a collagenase injection. This is an enzyme that is injected into the thickened cord to weaken it. Two days following the injection, the finger is extended in consultation with Dr Mackay to rupture the contracture.
Surgical treatment involves performing a fasciectomy. This involves Dr Mackay making an incision under general anaesthetic in the affected finger. The affected fascia is removed and full extension is regained. In some cases a skin graft may be needed, however this would be discussed at the time of consultation with Dr Mackay.
Recovery following a fasciectomy will depend on how severe the contracture was and whether a skin graft was required. Dr Mackay works closely with hand therapists in rooms at postoperative appointments to ensure the best possible result. Returning to normal function and work duties will depend on the type of work performed. For sedentary work you may be back performing light duties at the 2-3 week mark, however for heavy manual labour workers it may take a little longer to be back to duties.