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Dupuytren’s Contracture Doctor Q&A

Dupuytren’s Contracture Doctor Q&A

Dupuytren’s contracture is a disorder that causes lumps and pits in the palms of the hands, forcing fingers to bend into them. It could be associated with cigarette smoking, alcoholism, diabetes, nutritional deficits, or drugs used to treat seizures. Common symptoms include trouble laying the hand flat on a table, tender lumps, thickening or tightening nodules, fingers dragging forward, and reduced hand function. Dr. Stephen L. Helgemo Jr. at the Florida Hand Center offers treatment for Dupuytren’s contracture. For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment online. We have convenient locations in Fort Myers FL, and Port Charlotte FL.

Dupuytren's Contracture Doctor Near Me in Port Charlotte and Fort Myers FL
Dupuytren's Contracture Doctor Near Me in Port Charlotte and Fort Myers FL

Table of Contents:

What triggers Dupuytren’s contracture?
What are the stages of Dupuytren’s?
How does Dupuytren contracture affect my body?
What happens if Dupuytren’s contracture is left untreated?
How do you prevent Dupuytren’s from getting worse?

What triggers Dupuytren’s contracture?


Dupuytren’s contracture, a hand condition that typically develops over years gradually, is primarily influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. While the exact triggers remain somewhat uncertain, specific elements have been closely associated with its onset. Notably, individuals of Northern European descent (specifically those of Celtic and Scandinavian ancestry) exhibit a slightly higher risk of Dupuytren’s, suggesting a genetic component. Moreover, the condition is more common in males, especially those over the age of 50, which implies that age and gender play significant roles. Environmental factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and manual labor involving repetitive hand usage have also been identified as potential contributors to the development of Dupuytren’s contracture and is believed to stem from microvascular damage or direct trauma to the fascia. In essence, while there are certainly factors beyond one’s control in regards to developing Dupuytren’s contracture, there are lifestyle habits that can be made to lower the chances of developing the condition.

What are the stages of Dupuytren’s?


The progression of Dupuytren’s contracture can be detailed into several distinct phases, beginning with an initial tender lump forming in the palm, and is difficult to differentiate from a normal callus. This stage may not significantly impair hand function, but often serves as an initial indication of the disease. These lumps, called nodules, may begin to burn, itch, and harden over time for some people, and as the condition advances to the proliferative stage, the lumps thicken and contract, leading to a formation of cords that restrict finger extension greatly. The most advanced stage, the residual stage, is characterized by permanent contracture with significant flexion deformity of the fingers, notably the ring and pinky finger, making it difficult to perform numerous everyday tasks and significantly affecting those who experience the condition’s quality of life.

How does Dupuytren contracture affect my body?


The impact of Dupuytren’s contracture on the body manifests primarily in the hands, altering their appearance and functionality. The thickening and tightening of the palmar fascia cause the curling of the ring and pointer finger inward toward the palm. Because of this forced hand posture, activities that require a flat hand, such as placing the hand in a pocket or typing become increasingly difficult. Over time, this contracture can lead to stiffness and a decrease in the range of motion, complicating simple tasks and diminishing hand dexterity. Fortunately, Dupuytren contracture is seen to only develop in the hands, meaning it cannot spread to other parts of the body. In addition to this, it is not uncommon for people to not progress to the most severe stages of the condition. Because the notion of dexterity loss is so worrisome, it is always best to seek the opinion of a qualified medical professional if you believe the symptoms of Dupuytren contracture are at play.

What happens if Dupuytren’s contracture is left untreated?


If Dupuytren’s contracture is left untreated, the progressive nature of the condition can often lead to increased severity of symptoms. The contracture may worsen, resulting in greater finger flexion and significantly impaired hand function. Advanced cases can result in permanent finger contractures, in which the fingers are perpetually bent toward the palm, making surgical intervention much more complex and potentially less effective in restoring full hand function. Again, if you are experiencing symptoms of Dupuytren’s contracture, it is critical that you seek the opinion of a qualified medical professional in order to halt, or delay the progressive nature of the condition in order to maintain and preserve hand functionality.

How do you prevent Dupuytren’s from getting worse?


To prevent Dupuytren’s contracture from worsening, early intervention and ongoing management are crucial. Although there is no guaranteed method to halt the progression entirely, minimizing risk factors such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption may reduce the severity for many people. Engaging in regular, gentle hand and finger exercises can help maintain flexibility and range of motion, potentially delaying the contracture’s progression. For individuals already diagnosed with Dupuytren’s, close monitoring by a hand specialist is advisable to evaluate the condition’s advancement and discuss the timing of intervention or surgery if necessary. Implementing protective measures and seeking professional advice early can play pivotal roles in managing Dupuytren’s contracture and preserving proper hand function.

Dupuytren’s Contracture Doctor is available at the Florida Hand Center. For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment online. We have convenient locations in Fort Myers FL, and Port Charlotte FL. We serve patients from Port Charlotte FL, Fort Myers FL, Punta Gorda FL, Cape Coral FL, Estero FL, Harbour Heights FL, Lake Suzy FL, Murdock FL, Charlotte Harbor FL, Solana FL, and surrounding areas.

 

Locations - Florida Hand Center in Fort Myers, FL and Port Charlotte, FL

Port Charlotte

  • 18344 Murdock Circle, Port Charlotte, FL 33948
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Fort Myers

  • 13710 Metropolis Ave. Suite 103, Fort Myers, FL 33912
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