Family History Of Dupuytren's Contracture? Tips For Preventing Its Development & 3 Treatment Options
If someone in your family, especially a parent, has or has had a hand condition called Dupuytren's Contracture, then it is important to always keep prevention of this condition in mind. If you are in your 30s or 40s and have not yet developed the condition, then you may feel like you "got lucky" and will never get it, but the truth is the condition hits most people when they are in their 50s or older. It is a hereditary condition, yet health experts believe that in many cases, it can be prevented. However, it is a good idea to learn about Dupuytren's Contracture treatment options now, so you can be prepared to make the best treatment choice for you if you do develop it.
Read on to learn tips for preventing Dupuytren's Contracture and the current treatment options available for correcting this hand deformity.
Dupuytren's Contracture Prevention
If you are like many people with a family history of Dupuytren's Contracture, then you may think that due to it being a hereditary condition, there is nothing you can do to help prevent it. However, health experts do believe that it can be prevented in many cases. It is believed that the gene that causes development of this hand condition simply makes the fascia of a person's hands more sensitive to the environment. Due to this increased sensitivity, the fascia of your hands, especially that of the ring and pinky fingers, can become damaged more easily than the fascia of the hand of a person who does not carry the gene.
Experts urge that the top ways to prevent Dupuytren's Contracture development include not smoking, since the toxins in smoke can damage not just your lungs, but also virtually every other body organ; not drinking alcohol; not over-indulging in sugar, especially if diabetes also runs in your family; and taking all precautions you can to avoid hand trauma.
In general, the healthier you keep your body and the more you protect your hands from trauma, the less likely you are to develop this condition, even if you carry the gene that causes it.
Current Dupuytren's Contracture Treatment Options
While taking steps to ward off development of Dupuytren's Contracture can help prevent it, it is important to learn about the treatment options for the condition. This can help you make a well-informed decision about what treatment course you will take, even if you are overwhelmed with emotions when you develop it that make making difficult decisions tough.
The three main treatment options for Dupuytren's Contracture today include:
Tissue Needling. To perform this treatment, your hand doctor will first anesthetize your hand to prevent any pain during the procedure. Next, they will insert a needle or multi-needle instrument through your skin and into the hand tissue that has begun contracting. The goal of this treatment is to break up the thick cord of hand tissue that has developed and has begun pulling your ring finger and/or pinky into a contracted position.
Enzyme Injections. Unlike tissue or hand needling where your hand doctor would attempt to break the cords leading to contracture of your fingers manually, the first step to this treatment is injecting an enzyme into the cord(s) to dissolve them. After the injections, your doctor will wait until they feel that the enzymes have had enough time to "do their job" and then finish breaking up the cords manually.
Dupuytren's Contracture Surgery. While tissue needling and enzyme injection can both loosen your contracted fingers for a period of time, unfortunately, neither actually removes all of the cord tissue and, when left in place, this tissue can keep growing and cause your fingers to contract again over time (although some people do see lasting results). When a hand surgery specialist performs Dupuytren's Contracture surgery, they remove all damaged tissue from the affected fingers and palms, which not only frees your contracted fingers, but also prevents re-occurence of the contracture very well and, in some cases, forever.
Of course, the first step to seeking treatment is to visit a hand surgery specialist who can assess the current condition of your affected hand(s) and make their personalized treatment recommendation. At the first signs of the hand condition, your doctor may be more likely to try one of the less-invasive treatments to see if they provide you lasting results. If they don't, then they are more likely to recommend surgery to repair your hands and keep the condition from returning.
If Dupuytren's Contracture runs in your family, then it is important to know that while you may have inherited the gene that can cause it, there are steps you can take to lower the chances that you will develop this disfiguring hand condition. However, knowing your treatment options will help you make an informed decision about which treatment is best for you if you do develop it in the future. For more information, check out a site like http://www.towncenterorthopaedics.com.