Dupuytren’s disease (also known as Dupuytren’s contracture) is when one or more fingers bend in towards your palm. The affliction is sometimes jokingly referred to as Viking disease due to its high incidence among people of Scandinavian and North European descent.
The cause is unknown and sufferers usually start showing symptoms at age 40 with men acquiring the disease more often than women; it often runs in families. There is a slow progression with the affliction that almost always affect the ring finger as well as the little and middle fingers.
Firm nodules appear in the ligaments just beneath the skin of the palm of the hand, and in some cases they extend to form cords that can prevent the finger straightening completely. The nodules and cords may be associated with small pits in the skin. Without treatment, one or more fingers may become fixed in a bent position. The web between thumb and index finger is sometimes narrowed. Contracture of fingers is usually slow, occurring over months and years rather than weeks.
Dupuytren’s disease may be associated with diabetes, smoking and high alcohol consumption, but many affected people have none of these. It does not appear to be associated with manual work. It occasionally appears after injury to the hand or wrist, or after surgery to these areas.
Shockwave Therapy is incredibly effective for hand pain. We will isolate the area that needs to be treated, then using our focussed shockwave equipment we will start sending gentle impulses to the area. The shockwave treatment will bring new blood vessels into the damaged nodules and cords and healing begins to occur. Discomfort will be kept to a minimum and gradually the impulses will become more intense, although little pain will be felt and if it is it will gradually dissipate over a few days.
Generally, shockwave for Dupuytren’s disease will resolve after three to four sessions, depending on your condition and how long you may have suffered with it, while early diagnosis can reduce the number of sessions needed. Sometimes it may take several weeks for the full effects to be felt. Further improvements may still be experienced 12-months after treatment. The alternative is invasive surgery or painful injections.
It is important that you work with your physical therapist to ensure that you have an exercise regime and massage to ensure full recovery.