About Dupuytren’s Disease
Dupuytren’s disease is a condition that affects the fascia—the fibrous layer of tissue that lies underneath the skin in the palm and fingers. In patients with Dupuytren’s, the fascia thickens, then tightens over time causing the fingers to be pulled inward, towards the palm, resulting in what is known as a “Dupuytren’s contracture.” Often, this condition is first detected when lumps of tissue, or nodules, form under the skin in the palm. In many cases, a Dupuytren’s contracture progresses very slowly, over a period of years, and may remain mild enough such that no treatment is needed. In some patients, however, a worsening Dupuytren’s contracture can interfere with hand function, making it difficult for them to perform daily activities. When this occurs, there are nonsurgical and surgical treatment options available to help slow the progression of the disease and improve motion in the affected fingers.
Dupuytren’s Disease Treatment at UT Health Austin
Although severity varies from patient to patient, Dupuytren’s usually progresses very slowly and may not become troublesome for many years, however even if your lump(s) is not causing any pain or discomfort an evaluation by a clinician is still recommended. Your evaluation will include a thorough history and physical examination, and may also include imaging studies such as x-rays or an MRI to rule out any other conditions. Initial treatment typically involved observation as the condition is not harmful. Any unusual changes that occur should be reported to your physician. If the Dupuytren’s contracture begins to cause a great deal of pain or severe limitations nonsurgical or surgical treatments may be an option. Throughout the course of your treatment, your care team will work with you to understand the risks and benefits and what you can expect throughout the process.
Care Team Approach
We have assembled a team of experts that includes orthopedic surgeons, physiatrists, physical therapists, chiropractors, nurse practitioners, dietitians, and social workers. This team enables us to provide the right care for the right patient at the right time. For some patients, nonsurgical interventions such as lifestyle modifications, physical therapy, medication and injections can help improve pain and function, while surgery may be the best course of action for others. Whatever your needs, our team is here to listen and work with you to develop a treatment plan that is right for you.