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How Do You Slow Down Dupuytren's Contracture?

January 06, 2021

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Over the years, doctors and researchers have come across various body deformities, including foot deformities, and hand deformities. Dupuytren's Contracture is one such type of hand disorder that can cause a deformity in the fingers. 


Thus, causing extreme difficulty in patients suffering from this issue. 

This deformity takes place when a layer of tissue right beneath the palm’s skin is affected. This layer of tissue develops plenty of knots that can lead to bending of fingers. Thus, leading to Dupuytren's Contracture. 

Dupuytren's Contracture keeps on progressing over the years. As of now, there’s no proper cure for this deformity. However, certain ways can help in reducing or slowing down Dupuytren's Contracture. 

Let’s understand the treatments that may help a patient having Dupuytren's Contracture. 

Treatment Options Available For Slowing Down Dupuytren’s Contracture 

If you’re worried about the progression of Dupuytren's Contracture condition in either you or your loved ones, there are mainly two treatments available. These two treatments consist ofnon-surgical procedures or surgical procedures. 

However, keep in mind that your approach depends on the severity of the condition. It is because as time passes by, this condition may or may not worsen. So, it is necessary to take some measures to prevent it from worsening more. 

For this, you may consider the options available and talk to the doctor regarding this condition. 

Non-Surgical Treatment

The first type of treatment consists of a non-surgical approach. As the name suggests, non-surgical treatment doesn’t involve any type of surgery and mostly relies on a non-invasive approach. 

Non-surgical treatment is most beneficial for people who don’t seem to have any serious symptoms yet. Such type of treatment includes radiation-based treatment, injection-based, or even something as simple as stretching.  

  1. Steroid Injections 

Another treatment that may help in reducing and slowing down Dupuytren's Contracture involves steroid injections. 

The mechanism here is simple. Once the steroidal medications are injected into the nodule of Dupuytren’s, it may help in reducing the overall size of the nodules. The medications may have anti-inflammatory properties that can help in healing any type of inflammation and thus, slowing down the progression of Dupuytren's Contracture. However, note that it may only work at the beginning stages of Dupuytren's Contracture and may not work as efficiently in the latter stages. Moreover, steroid injections may only help in slowing down the speed of progression but not straightening the fingers if you have a contracture. Patients may also requiremore than two to three injections. 

The side effects of this treatment may include minor to intense pain and other complications depending on the patient’s body. 

  1. Enzyme Injections 

Other than steroid injections, enzyme injections may also help in reducing or slowing down the progression of Dupuytren's Contracture. Enzyme injections are a non-surgical substitute for surgeries that may help in some cases. 

The process involved here includes an injection, containing a mixture of enzymes. Such type of injection is injected in the affected tissues of the palm. 

As you may know, enzymes help in the breakdown of materials. Similarly, when enzymes act upon the tissue, they help in breaking down the tough tissues. Thus, loosening up the contracture as much as possible. 

Sometimes the results are quite effective. However, if the fingers are still bent, the consulted doctor may try using stretching practices to reduce the stiffness of the bent fingers. Hence, making it more flexible. 

Keep in mind that usually, a patient may require only one to two injections. However, in certain cases, they may also require three injections for making the fingers straight or flexible again. For this treatment, there are mainly only mild side effects, including swelling or bruising on or near the injected areas. In extremely few cases, serious side effects such as nerve injury or major allergic reactions may occur. 

  1. Stretching 

In the case of a mild case of Dupuytren's Contracture, stretching is one of the easiest ways that may help in reducing this deformity. 

Keep in mind that regularly exercising may help in increasing finger flexibility and better adaptability but it may not necessarily slow down the progression a lot. 

If you want it to slow down effectively and in the case of a serious Dupuytren's Contracture, you may have to consider other options than just stretching. 

  1. Radiation Therapy 

Radiotherapy makes use of low-energy radiations that may help in slowing down the progression of Dupuytren's Contracture. 

The radiations help in preventing the worsening of the nodules or even other skin changes caused due to this deformity. 

According to researchers, radiation therapy doesn’t have enough evidence to be considered as a proven treatment for Dupuytren's Contracture.

However, many clinics still offer this therapy to reduce the symptoms or even the progression.

  1. Other Non-Invasive Non-Surgical Treatments 

Even though non-surgical treatments do not require any surgical procedures, they may still not be fully non-invasive. Due to this, they may lead to some pain in the patients. 

To avoid this, you can also go for completely non-invasive options such as aspecial all-natural cream for Dupuytren’s Contracture. 

All-natural creams consist of ingredients and nutrients such as Vitamin-E that have special anti-inflammatory properties. These properties further help in slowing down the progression of Dupuytren’s Contracture. 

This concludes the list of non-surgical treatments for Dupuytren’s Contracture. 

Surgical Treatment

For more serious cases, doctors may recommend going for surgical treatments rather than non-surgical ones. If, for instance, you’re not able to make any movements with your fingers, your doctor may go for this. Surgical treatments involve methods likeneedling and surgery that may require more rest period and sometimes, potential side effects too. 

  1. Needle Aponeurotomy

In this type of minimally-invasive procedure, a needle is used for reducing the progression of Dupuytren’s Contracture

Instead of removing or destroying the whole nodules and cords, the needle instead severs or breaks off the cords that are causing the tension in the tissues and fingers. Thus, helping to relax the contracture. 

As it is a minimally-invasive procedure, it doesn’t involve any incisions or cuts. Your doctor may simply make some small punctures with the help of the needle such that it cuts through the cords and releases contraction. 

Needle Aponeurotomy may be an effective treatment for many patients today. It has almost no serious side effects. However, some complications may occur but none of them are extremely serious. 

Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to needling is that for some patients, this treatment may not work depending on the severity. It is because this treatment is not a permanent option. The patients may have to go to the doctor again for another session in order to constantly see the progress and reduce the contracture. 

  1. Surgery 

Another treatment for Dupuytren’s Contracture is surgery.  Surgeries for this deformity involve invasive procedures that require skin incision. Now, surgeries too can be of different types depending on the severity of the situation. 

However, the process mostly remains the same. In surgery for Dupuytren’s Contracture, the surgeon may make some skin incisions over the affected area. After making an incision, the surgeon may remove the affected tissue that was causing the damage. 

Keep in mind that surgeries are quite complicated in any situation. So, the recovery period may also be long and require physical treatment or even rest. After surgeries, patients may even have to wear bandages or splints for weeks or months. 

Other than that, the surgery isn’t a permanent solution for Dupuytren’s Contracture either. You may have to get another surgery due to the recurrence of this deformity. The chances may get low but they are still there. After surgery, a patient may have some swelling, infection, or even soreness. Sometimes, a serious side effect may also occur due to open surgeries. So, overall surgical treatments are more preferable for people having a serious case of Dupuytren’s Contracture.

Home-Based Treatments for Dupuytren’s Contracture 

Apart from surgical and non-surgical procedures, sometimes lifestyle changes may also help in slowing down the progression of Dupuytren’s Contracture treatment

Let’s see what you can do: 

  • Don’t Apply Too Much Pressure on Palm 

To reduce the pain and progression of Dupuytren’s Contracture, you may try to reduce the pressure on your palm in two ways: 

  1. Try to have a loose grip whenever you’re holding any item 
  2. In case you’ve to hold something tightly, try wearing gloves to reduce the pressure

Exercising may not help in slowing down this condition but it can help in reducing the discomfort and stiffness. In fact, after any treatment procedure, your doctor may ask you to exercise your fingers regularly to reduce the stiffness. Make sure you don’t stretch or exercise your palm too much. 

  • Have a Healthy Diet 

Sometimes, Dupuytren’s Contracture may lead to chronic diseases, such as diabetes. Thus, it becomes essential to include a healthy diet in your routine that can reduce the effects of it. 

Try to consume more fresh food and cut back on those sugars and carbohydrates. 

Other than this, you can also try massage or supplements to see some improvement, if not a lot. 

Final Thoughts 

Treating Dupuytren’s Contracture when it’s at a mild stage is quite important. It is because once it starts to progress, one may feel difficulty in doing the basic daily activities of life, such as eating or holding anything.So, in case you have any doubts, it is best to consult a doctor and see which treatment may help in slowing down Dupuytren’s Contracture. 

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