Dilhan Abeyewardene, MD
Orthopaedic Hand Surgeon located in North Palm Beach, FL
Dupuytren’s disease can result in a contracture of your fingers that causes them to curl into your hand. If you’re finding you have problems straightening any of your fingers, Dilhan Abeyewardene, MD, can help. Dr. Dilhan is an orthopedic hand surgeon at Orthopaedic Care Specialists who specializes in treating hand and wrist conditions like Dupuytren’s disease. Find out about the effective treatment options for Dupuytren’s by calling his office today, or book an appointment using the online tool.
Dupuytren’s Disease Q & A
What is Dupuytren's disease?
Dupuytren's disease is a condition in which the fascia under your skin thickens and tightens, causing your fingers to fold in towards your palm.
In effect, the fibrous fascia acts like a rope pulling your finger inwards, and making it impossible to straighten one or more of your fingers. This is called Dupuytren's contracture.
If your fingers become overbent because of Dupuytren's contracture, it can lead to loss of function in your hand and make it hard to carry out everyday activities.
At OCS, Dr. Dilhan provides effective non-surgical treatments for Dupuytren's disease, and surgical solutions for patients with severe Dupuytren's contracture.
What causes Dupuytren's disease?
It’s not known for sure what causes Dupuytren's disease, but it’s likely that there’s a genetic link. It’s not related to the overuse of your hand and is often unpreventable.
There are known risk factors for developing Dupuytren's disease, including:
- Being a man
- Northern European ancestry
- Alcohol use
- Having diabetes
- Having seizure disorders
You’re also more likely to get Dupuytren's disease as you get older.
How is Dupuytren's disease treated?
Dupuytren's disease is a genetic condition that isn’t curable. The problem with Dupuytren's disease is a malfunction of a scar producing cell that leads to contracture of the fingers, which can affect your ability to use your hand properly. Most treatments for this condition are directly related to the degree and severity of finger contracture.
Dupuytren's disease is very variable in its presentation. . Some patients who have Dupuytren's disease only develop the thickened fascia and nodules in their palms and never experience contracture, so monitoring the progress of their condition is sometimes all that’s necessary.
If your fingers do start to pull in, Dr. Dilhan may be able to use non-surgical treatments to breakdown the contracture.
Steroid injections can be useful as they reduce inflammation and can slow the development of a contracture. Enzyme injections are another approach, in which Dr. Dilhan injects an enzyme called collagenase into the cords of fascia that are causing a contracture.
The enzyme weakens or dissolves the cords, improving the range of motion. Dr. Dilhan can also carefully straighten the affected fingers, pulling the cords apart and freeing you from the contracture.
Needle aponeurotomy is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure in which Dr. Dilhan uses a needle to break up the cords of tissue causing a contracture. If these approaches aren’t working or your contracture is severe, you might need to undergo surgery.
What surgery helps Dupuytren’s disease?
There are two types of surgery that can provide relief from the effects of Dupuytren’s disease.
A fasciotomy procedure involves Dr. Dilhan making a cut in your palm and dividing the affected cords. In a subtotal palmar fasciectomy, Dr. Dilhan removes the affected cords.
These procedures offer greatly improved function, but neither cures Dupuytren's disease. New tissue growth could still be subject to developing thickened cords in the future.
Get expert treatment for your Dupuytren's disease and contracture by calling Dr. Dilhan’s office today, or book an appointment online.