Question:I am a piano teacher with a fairly large studio of students. Next month I'm going to have surgery for Dupuytren's disease. Two of the fingers on my left hand are affected. I'll still be able to teach using my right hand but how long will the left hand be out of commission?
Answer:Dupuytren's disease causes flexion contractures of the affected fingers. This means the patient's fingers are stuck in a flexed or bent position. They may not even be able to pull the fingers straight with the other hand. Surgery to cut the fascia or thickened connective tissue causing this problem is a common treatment.
There are many different ways for the surgeon to do this operation. If you have a mild to moderate case of Dupuytren's, a percutaneous needle fasciotomy (PNF) is a good option. Only a small incision is made instead of an open cut. Afterwards, the bandages are taken off within 24 hours, and you can start to bend and straighten the fingers right away.
An alternate surgical procedure called limited fasciectomy (LF) actually removes the diseased area. Incisions are made in the skin of the palm. The bandages stay on for a week but patients often have better results with this method. There's more discomfort after this operation but patients have less of a contracture and more motion.
You may want to discuss your needs and goals as a piano teacher and what surgical method would be best for you.Annet L. van Rijssen, MD, et al. A Comparison of Direct Outcomes of Percutaneous Needle Fasciotomy and Limited Fasciectomy for Dupuytren's Disease: A 6-Week Follow-Up Study. In The Journal of Hand Surgery. May-June 2006. Vol. 31A. No. 5. Pp. 717-725.
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