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Needle Aponeurotomy – A Minimally-Invasive Treatment for Dupuytren’s Disease

If you suffer from Dupuytren’s Disease (Contracture), you understand the debilitating effects of having your fingers “permanently” contracted. This disease involves an abnormal thickening and hardening of the tissue (fascia) beneath the palms of one or both hands. It causes the tendons (cords) to contract and pull the fingers toward the palm. It primarily occurs in men of northern European descent, but it is found around the world and also in women.

Minimally-Invasive Treatment for Faster Relief

There is no cure for the disease; surgeons focus on treating the symptoms. Until recently, only invasive hand surgery with a three to six-month long recovery period could provide increased mobility of the fingers. (For some patients, this procedure is still required.)

However, many patients can now be effectively treated with a minimally-invasive, outpatient procedure called Needle Aponeurotomy. The patient is given local anesthesia. A surgeon then inserts a special needle to “release” the tight cords of tissue, allowing the fingers to immediately return to a non-contracted position. It’s important to note that unlike traditional hand surgery, the tight cords and abnormal tissue is not removed, so the rate of recurrence is greater following Needle Aponeurotomy than with invasive surgery. However, because there is less, if any, scar tissue that forms, the procedure can be repeated as necessary over time. The goal is to help you regain as much functionality as possible without invasive surgery or therapy.

Important Facts to Know about Needle Aponeurotomy:

  • Procedure takes 30 – 60 minutes
  • Performed under local anesthesia (patient is awake)
  • Usually only one hand is done at a time
  • Recovery is usually 2 – 7 days
  • Can be repeated as necessary
  • Usually no physical therapy is needed

How Do I Know if I’m a Candidate?

Sanford hand surgeons will consult with you and discuss the requirements, risks and benefits of this procedure. Not all patients with the disease are candidates for the surgery; patients with severe progression of contracture may benefit more from traditional surgery.

To learn more about Needle Aponeurotomy or to make an appointment, please call (605) 328-2663.

Posted Date: April 2012