The elbow is subject to wear-and-tear during racquet or swinging sports, weight-training, or repetitive work tasks like painting. Take care of this joint with these stretches to prevent overuse injuries and the associated pain and dysfunction.
Dupuytren's disease is caused by a shortening, thickening, and/or excess of connective tissue in the palm of the hand. Firm nodules, cords, and pits in the palm develop. Over time, the disease can pull your fingers into a bent position downward into your palm.
At Maryland Orthopedic Specialists, our hand specialist, Peter G. Fitzgibbons, MD, is experienced in helping both mild and severe cases of this condition.
You probably have lots of questions about your diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. Here are some of the important things to know about Dupuytren’s disease.
Dupeytren’s disease describes connective tissue in the palm that becomes tight and constrictive enough to force the fingers to bend inward toward the palm. Sometimes this is due to the development of excess connective tissue.
You may notice cords of contractive tissue on your palm and fingers that look like tendons, but the disease has nothing to do with your tendons.
The reason certain people develop Dupuytren’s disease isn’t fully understood. It most often develops in men and is common in those of northern European descent.
Usually, Dupuytren’s disease starts to show up in your 40s or later and may run in families, though sometimes a person with no family history of the disease develops it.
Even mild cases of Dupuytren’s disease have noticeable symptoms. Most often, Dupuytren’s disease affects both hands. You usually notice lumps and pits under the skin of your palm at first.
With time, you see thick cords on the palm in line with the fingers that start to prevent you from putting your hand flat on a table or into pockets. You may not be able to grasp large objects.
Eventually your fingers start to bend into the palm. Usually the ring and pinky finger are most often affected, but in severe cases, other fingers are involved as well.
Dupuytren’s disease isn’t usually painful, but it does interfere with your hands’ functioning and worsens with time.
While we can’t cure Dupuytren’s disease (no one can), Dr. Fitzgibbons offers treatments that restore function to your hand (or hands).
The following treatments can help. The one that’s best for you depends on the severity of your condition.
Dr. Fitzgibbons may insert a needle through your skin to break up the tissue causing tightness in your fingers. The contractures can return, but needling can be done again and again.
While needling isn’t the most effective treatment, it’s the least invasive option. It requires no incisions, can be done on several affected fingers in the same appointment, and requires minimal follow-up physical therapy.
Dr. Fitzgibbons may administer injections of an enzyme that softens and weakens the connective tissue so he can then break the contracted cords and straighten your fingers.
For advanced cases of Dupuytren’s disease, Dr. Fitzgibbons may recommend surgery. During the procedure, he removes any diseased tissue in your palm. Surgery is effective in that the results are comprehensive and long-lasting. You will need physical therapy and time to recover, of course.
If you’ve been diagnosed with Dupuytren’s disease or suspect you have it, contact us at Maryland Orthopedic Specialists for expert management and treatment. Call our Bethesda or Germantown, Maryland, office for a consultation with Dr. Fitzgibbons, or book online today.
You Might Also Enjoy...
When you have pain and stiffness in your wrist due to arthritis, even the simplest of daily tasks can become difficult. A brace can help you use your ailing wrist more confidently. Here’s why.
Keep your young baseball pitcher playing the game they love by avoiding injury. Little League pitchers are vulnerable to elbow overuse injuries. Here are some tips on keeping that joint healthy.
When you have a soft tissue injury or are recovering from surgery, physical therapy offers indispensable support to help you recover and manage day to day. Here’s why you shouldn’t skip physical therapy and what to expect.
Poorly managed diabetes can lead to musculoskeletal issues, including a frozen shoulder. Read on to learn why staying on top of your blood sugar helps your joint health as well as so many other aspects of your well-being.
A tear to your ACL is always concerning, but some cases are more serious than others. Read on to learn how your injury is graded or classified and what you can expect with treatment and prognosis.