Dupuytren’s disease – when the hand becomes a problematic case
Dupuytren’s disease refers to a disease of the connective tissue of the palm of the hand. In most cases, a benign tumor develops in the flexible, soft section of the hand near the base joints of the fingers. This tumor grows continuously and, above a certain size, impairs the flexibility of the fingers and hand. When the hand becomes a problem, the patient has increasing difficulty using his hands as usual.
The causes of the disease are still in the dark
Dupuytren’s disease has been known for almost 200 years. French surgeon Guillaume Dupuytren introduced the disease named after him to the medical community in the 1930s. Since then, intensive research has been conducted into the causes of this disorder. So far, however, without a definite result. Probably a hereditary predisposition in connection with a Trauma, that is a Injury to the hand, the trigger.
Men are particularly often affected by the disease
In Germany, there are about 1.5 million people who suffer from Dupuytren’s disease. The disease occurs significantly more frequently in men and also about 10 years earlier than in women. According to estimates, about 30 percent of all men over 50 are affected by this disease. If the tumors only form at an advanced age, however, they usually only grow slowly and do not lead to serious impairments in those affected. Some patients, however, have to reckon with the fact that an Dupuytren’s contracture develops.
The course of the disease – when the hand becomes a problem case
Dupuytren’s disease belongs to the group of fibromatoses. These are aggressively growing growths of the connective tissue, which are usually benign. Typical for the course of the disease is the development of nodules and strands on the palm of the hand. The ring finger and the little finger are very frequently affected.
The disease usually develops over a period of years, with the tumor growing in stages and symptoms worsening analogously. The consistently growing nodules and cords in the hand eventually cause the fingers stiffen and can no longer be stretched. This stage is also called Dupuytren’s contracture designated.
How can the disease be treated?
New, aggressively growing nodules can be treated with the help of radiation therapy. This usually leads at least to a slowing down of the disease. As soon as the flexibility of the fingers is severely restricted, however, only surgical intervention can help.
Patients should only entrust themselves to an expert here. The experienced surgeon Dr. Martha Bernard will be happy to advise you in detail in her practice about the advantages as well as the risks of surgery for Dupuytren’s disease. After an extensive examination, Dr. Bernard will explain the treatment options to you and determine the best possible treatment strategy together with you.