Dupuytren’s contracture, or Dupuytren’s disease, occurs when the fingers bend in towards the palm and cannot be completely straightened because of a fixed flexion contracture. This connective tissue disorder involving the palmar fascia of the hand is inherited, and is named after the surgeon who developed a corrective surgery, Baron Guillaume Dupuytren.
A number of different treatments have been developed for Dupuytren’s disease, with varying degrees of success. The main types are Collagenase Injection, Radiation Therapy, Hand Surgery, and Needle Aponeurotomy.
The actual procedure is very simple. After the administration of a local anesthetic, the doctor uses a small hypodermic needle to cut the contracted tissue bands in the affected areas of your palm and fingers. NA can be used in some finger contracture cases, but is considered most effective in treating the palm. Many, but not all, cases of Dupuytren’s contracture can be corrected with the technique. This is why each patient must undergo a complete evaluation to determine if they are a good candidate for the procedure.
Advantages of Needle Aponeurotomy over Traditional Surgery
One benefit of NA is that the procedure is performed in the office on an outpatient basis. This means that planning and scheduling is easier, and a return visit is easier if required. NA also has the advantage of much faster recovery times. The average recovery time for the typical patient is about one week, in comparison to an average recovery time of one to three months using traditional surgery.
There is also normally less post-operative pain experienced with NA compared to conventional surgery. Additionally, there is a lower risk of developing post-operative complications with NA. No general anesthesia is required for NA, lowering the risks involved with anesthesia.
No cure exists for Dupuytren’s disease. NA helps restore some function to patients using minimally invasive techniques as an outpatient procedure. The technique is considered safe and effective with very minimal side effects and lower risks than more conventional treatments.
Scarring or contracture recurrence is found in some cases among all forms of treatment for Dupuytren’s disease. However, the chief advantage of NA over all other forms of treatment is that it can be quickly and easily repeated in the office if necessary. There are no limits to how often the technique can be used.
Needle Aponeurotomy does not involve the removal of abnormal tissue, rather it degrades and weakens it. This helps avoid additional incision trauma. The in-office procedure usually takes under one hour to perform. Since less trauma is involved than in other procedures, your healing time is more rapid. Patients can typically resume normal functioning after only two days without the requirement for physical therapy. Other forms of surgical treatment involve far more rehabilitation.
To find out if this treatment option is right for you, contact Real Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery. With offices in Moonee Ponds and Werribee, Mr. Salerno can help determine the most appropriate treatment option for your needs.