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September 29, 2020

Diagnosing Dupuytren's disease may only require to take a look for a skilled doctor. However, there are also imaging techniques such as MRI and ultrasound, and you can even have a histological examination done.

Regardless, after being diagnosed with Dupuytren's disease, who should treat your condition? When is the right moment to treat Dupuytren's disease, and where?

There is limited scientific evidence on some treatment procedures, post-operative care, and other variables. There are still some gaps, and doctors need to make decisions based on their clinical experience. But in this article, we're telling you what is commonly recommended after being diagnosed.

Who should treat Dupuytren's disease, and where?

The question of who is authorized to treat Dupuytren's disease varies according to your country. Is a general practitioner fit for the job, or should I go with a licensed rheumatologist? Naturally, the latter would be better, but even a general practitioner may be brave enough to perform a percutaneous needle aponeurotomy. Still, neither a GP nor a rheumatologist is trained to face the complications.

Some countries require a diploma in hand surgery to treat the disease. In others, it can be treated by general surgeons, orthopedic surgeons, and plastic surgeons. But in general, surgeons are a safe bet to go for treatment, even more, if they are specializing or hold a degree in hand surgery.

Depending on financing, national regulations, your own health, and other variables, you can be treated as an ambulatory patient or spend one week hospitalized.

Surgical and non-surgical treatment options

Treatment for Dupuytren's disease should start as early as possible. If you wait for the nodular stage of the disease, surgery may not have the best outcome. Still, any moment is adequate to treat the disease, but it should be as early as possible.

There are non-surgical treatment options, including a collagenase injection and soothing creams to manage the contraction's symptoms. In other countries, light therapy, acupuncture, ultrasound, and massages are recommended to manage the symptoms. Radiotherapy is apparently beneficial, too, especially in incipient stages of the disease. However, the most commonly accepted rule is ultimately relying on surgery before the disease causes significant limitations in day-to-day activities.

There are different types of surgery. Sometimes, doctors prefer to cut the affected cord by and leave it as it is. But we can also remove the cord after cutting, or remove the cord and surrounding healthy tissue. There are also various options to improve cosmetic outcomes, as well.

 

What happens after surgery?

After surgery, doctors will give you one of these post-operative approaches:

  • Rehabilitation and early use of the affected hand
  • Using a day and night splint for the first weeks followed by night splint only, for weeks or months
  • Dynamic splinting, a combination of both methods exposed above

According to what we know about recovery after surgery, all three approaches are equally useful. However, doctors are the ones to decide which one to use according to the patient and their own medical experience.

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