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Remuera Surgical Care

Private Surgical Service, Plastic Surgery, General Surgery

This is where you will come to have your surgery performed. The visits to your surgeon before and after surgery will be at their consulting rooms.

Dupuytrens Contracture

Dupuytren's contracture (or Dupuytren's disease) is a fixed flexion contracture of the hand due to thickening of some of the tissues in the hand resulting in the fingers bending towards the palm and unable to be fully extended (straightened). It is an inherited proliferative connective tissue disorder that involves the hand's palmar fascia (layer of tissue within the palm of the hand)

The ring and little are the fingers most commonly affected. Dupuytren's contracture progresses slowly and is often accompanied by some aching and itching. In patients with this condition, the palmar fascia thickens and shortens so that the tendons connected to the fingers cannot move freely.  The incidence of Dupuytren's contracture increases after age 40; at this age, men are affected more often than women. Beyond 80 the gender distribution is about even.

Surgery is currently the mainstay of treatment for symptomatic Dupuytren's contracture (however there is currently a worldwide trial with collagenase although this is still considered experimental at this stage).

Surgery involves either a general anaesthetic or regional block and involves excising all of the thickened tissue which includes the palmar fascia and may include the overlying skin but retaining the important neurovascular structures within the hand and fingers. The joints can also be involved in the more severe cases and all attempts are made to improve the function of the joints.

The reconstruction of the resulting wound is performed using either a skin lengthening procedure or with a skin graft.

The length of time for the procedure is dependent on the severity and number of the contractures involved in the hand. At RSC, our specialists usually perform this operation on one hand at a time as a day stay procedure.

Post Operative Care

After your procedure your operated hand will be in a splint and a sling for approximately 1- 2 weeks depending on the type of reconstruction performed. You will need to keep this hand dry at all times.

This page was last updated at 9:50AM on May 24, 2021.