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Dupuytren's Contracture Repair

AMBULATORY CARE:

What you need to know about Dupuytren's contracture repair:

Dupuytren's contracture repair is surgery to divide or remove the thickened tissue in your hand. This will help you straighten your fingers and use your hand for daily activities.

How to prepare for Dupuytren's contracture repair:

Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for surgery. He may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery. He will tell you what medicines to take or not take on the day of your surgery. Arrange for someone to drive you home and stay with you.

What will happen during Dupuytren's contracture repair:

  • You may be given general anesthesia to keep you asleep during surgery. You may instead be given local anesthesia to numb the surgery area. With local anesthesia, you may still feel pressure or pushing during surgery, but you should not feel any pain. Your surgeon will make one or more incisions in your hand and finger. Part or all of the thickened tissue may be divided or removed.
  • The thickened skin may, instead, be divided under the skin, without making a large incision. Sometimes a skin graft is needed to close the wound. A piece of healthy skin from another area of your body is removed and then attached to your hand. Any incisions will be closed with stitches and covered with a bandage.

What will happen after Dupuytren's contracture repair:

You will have some pain, stiffness, and swelling after surgery. You may need to wear a splint to protect your hand.

Risks of Dupuytren's contracture repair:

You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. You may have a raised or large scar. You may not be able to bend your fingers toward your palm. You may develop a hematoma (buildup of blood). Your hand may swell or your joints may become stiff. You may have nerve damage in your fingers or hand. Your thickened tissue and limited movement may return.

Seek care immediately if:

  • You have severe pain in your hand.
  • You cannot move your fingers.
  • Your stitches come apart.
  • You bleed through your bandage.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever or chills.
  • You have signs of infection, such as red streaks, swelling, or pus in the surgery wound.
  • You have new or worsening pain.
  • You have a pocket of fluid under your skin.
  • Your symptoms return after your wound has healed.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Medicines:

You may need any of the following:

  • Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not take other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to your healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
  • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Care for your incision wound as directed:

Keep the bandage on your hand clean and dry. Your healthcare provider will tell you when it is okay to take a shower or bath. He or she will tell you when to change the bandage. Look for signs of infection, such as red streaks, swelling, and pus. Check for infection every day.

Self-care:

  • Elevate your hand above the level of your heart as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Prop your hand on pillows or blankets to keep it elevated comfortably.
  • Gently wiggle your fingers several times a day or as directed. This will help decrease stiffness and swelling.
  • Go to hand or physical therapy. A hand therapist teaches you specific exercises to improve movement and strength and decrease pain.
  • Return to your daily activities as directed.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

You may need to come in to have your stitches removed. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.