What is Dupuytren’s disease?
Dupuytren’s disease is a condition where thick lumps and cords develop under the skin on the palm of the hand. This can cause these thickenings under the skin to pull the finger down into the palm therefore possibly resulting in having one or more fingers unable to completely straighten.
Symptoms for this condition include:
- A lump or nodule over the palm of the hand close to the base of the finger
- Can progress over years or decades
- Lumps can become a thicker cord running along the palm and into the fingers
- Usually affects the ring and little fingers but can affect others
What causes Dupuytren’s disease?
There are no known reasons behind the causes of this condition although there is a number of potential factors that are believed to increase the risk; including:
- Older aged men
- Having diabetes
- Overconsumption of alcohol & cigarettes
- Scandinavian heritage
How do I know if I have Dupuytren’s disease?
This condition is not easily identifiable by a GP or physiotherapist although it usually consists of visible lumps in the hand and you may not be able to flatten your hand. These are infrequently painful.
How can physiotherapy help with Dupuytren’s disease?
Surgery or injections may be used if you are unable to place your hand flat on a table, Physiotherapy is not able to help patients before surgery or an injection. Although physiotherapy is important after surgery or an injection to soften scar tissue and restore movement, function and strength. It may be necessary for you to wear a custom made hand splint.
What can I do at home?
There is unfortunately not much that you can do at home except monitor your condition it can take many years to decades to see any progress. It is best it seeks medical or surgical advice if you are having issues performing your everyday activities.
How long will my recovery take?
Once a surgery or injection takes place it is important that you keep moving your fingers and try to preform small activities. It generally takes up to 14 days for a wound to heal. In the first 14 days, you will slowly have a gradual decrease in pain and swelling, and improvement in motion and strengthen for up to 3 months. Full recovery may take 3 months or longer
If you would like to find out more please call us or book an appointment here.
Reference: Australian Physiotherapy Association 2019, Your Body, viewed 19 November 2019, < https://australian.physio/>.