The hands are one of the most tactile parts of the body. Although few people stop and appreciate all that their hands do, they are used on a daily basis for functional tasks and those for pleasure. Unfortunately, there are many conditions that can affect the function of the hands and make it painful or even impossible to perform simple daily tasks.
Dupuytren’s contracture is a condition that affects the tissues beneath the palm of the hand. Over time, this can cause a hand deformity that severely limits hand functions. Hand surgery addresses conditions that compromise the role of the hands to restore comfort and a full range of motion for patients.
At her cosmetic and hand surgery practice, Dr. Tracy E. McCall can treat Dupuytren’s contracture for her Milwaukee, WI patients, either through surgery or less invasive treatment methods.
Symptoms of Dupuytren’s Contracture
Dupuytren’s contracture is a genetic disease with no known cause, though factors such as age, ancestry, and sex do affect a person’s chances of developing the condition.
Dupuytren’s contracture is a progressive disease that usually starts off slowly. In its early stages, the only visible symptom of Dupuytren’s contracture is likely to be a thickening of the skin on the palm of the hand. As this skin thickens, some patients notice a firm lump on the palm of their hands. Although the lump should not cause any pain, it may be more sensitive than other areas of the hand.
Eventually, as the disease progresses, cords of tissue will form beneath the skin of the palm. These cords may also extend up to the fingers. When these cords develop, patients are likely to notice more disruptive symptoms of Dupuytren’s contracture. The fingers (especially the ring finger and pinkie) may begin to bend towards the palm and will not be able to straighten.
This deformity can make it very difficult to grasp objects, type, write, or perform other daily functions.
Through treatment, Dr. McCall can break up the cords that form beneath a patient’s palm as Dupuytren’s contracture progresses. By breaking up these tissues, we can release tension so that the fingers can stretch open and patients can resume normal hand functions.
Traditionally, hand surgery has been the most common treatment for advanced cases of Dupuytren’s contracture. During a hand surgery procedure, Dr. McCall can actually remove hand tissues that have been affected by this disease. Surgery provides the most effective and long-lasting results for Dupuytren’s contracture, but it does require a lengthy recovery time that involves physical therapy.
Thanks to medical advances, hand surgery is no longer the only treatment option for Dupuytren’s contracture patients. Many of our patients are ideal candidates for Xiaflex injections.
Xiaflex contains enzymes that can soften and weaken the cords within the palm. Over time, the cord should be weak enough that it can be ruptured during a simple office procedure.
This technique is much less invasive than hand surgery, but it is not the best option for all patients. Dr. McCall will recommend the most appropriate treatment method for each patient based on his or her unique needs.
Schedule an Appointment
When the hands have been affected by disease or injury, a person’s quality of life can greatly diminish. Dr. Tracy E. McCall offers appropriate treatments for conditions such as these so that patients can restore the strength and function of their hands.
To learn more about hand surgery and other treatment options, schedule an appointment with Dr. McCall at your earliest convenience.