Hand Surgery

Dupuyten's surgery

Dupuytren’s contracture occurs in the hand when the palmar fascia — the tissues which cover the finger’s tendons, nerves and blood vessels — thickens, shortens and draws the fingers towards the palm of the hand to prevent full extension. In most cases, the condition primarily affects the small and ring fingers, although any digit can be involved. It will often occur in both hands. If left untreated, the contracture can lead to a fixed flexion of the finger joints, causing a significant impact on the function of the hand.

Researchers continue to study the causes of Dupuytren’s contracture and note that heredity factors play a role in who will develop the condition. Men over the age of 40, for example, and individuals of Western European heritage have a higher incidence of diagnosis than others. Fortunately, the condition, while disabling, is rarely painful and surgeons can treat it and its symptoms with surgery.

How is Dupuytren’s Contracture treated?

The decision about the most appropriate treatment is made by your surgeon and is dependent on a number of factors, including the duration and severity of disease.

When patients have symptoms, involving multiple digits or with prolonged contactures of the proximal joint of the fingers, they need a surgical procedure called a fasciectomy. This is a hospital based procedure that is typically completed as a day case. You will often require a general anaesthetic. The surgery removes all the diseased Dupuytren’s tissue and straighten’s the affected joints while preserving the important underlying tendons, nerves and blood vessels. Depending on the severity of your disease the skin closure may be in a zig zag pattern or require a skin graft.

Recovery From Your Dupuytren’s Contracture Procedure

Recovery from surgery will vary depending on the extent of your disease, but it can be up to 12 weeks before you are using the hand normally. Patients are typically discharged from hospital in a splint and arm sling that will immobilise the whole hand until your first post-op appointment at 5 – 7 days. We will often arrange for you to be seen by a specialist hand therapist to manage your recovery and provide you with a custom resting splint. Patients will need dressings until the wounds are healed and should expect to have only minimal use of the operated hand for the first two weeks.

Results From Your Dupuytren’s Contracture Treatment

You will have substantially improved range of movement in your affected fingers after the procedure. Some patients may not regain full extension of their fingers because of the severity and duration of contracture, but treatment will provide a significant functional improvement. There is a long term risk of disease recurrence following surgery that may require additional interventions in the future.

Call us to Discuss Your Dupuytren’s Contracture Treatment Options

Dupuytren’s Contracture can severely limit your abilities to perform even routine daily functions, and the appearance of the affected hands can also cause self-consciousness. Niche Plastic Surgery’s Specialist Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons have extensive training and experience in treating Dupuytren’s Disease and restoring function to the hand.

Call Niche Plastic Surgery on 9853 9705 to arrange for your in-person consultation and learn more about your Dupuytren’s Contracture treatments options.