Dupuytren Disease: An Evolving Understanding of an Age-old Disease

Eric M. Black. JAAOS December 2011;19 (12) Abstract

Dupuytren disease, a clinical entity originally described more than 400 years ago, is a progressive disease of genetic origin. Excessive myofibroblast proliferation and altered collagen matrix composition lead to thickened and contracted palmar fascia; the resultant digital flexion contractures may severely limit function. The pathophysiology is multifactorial and remains a topic of research and debate. Genetic predisposition, trauma, inflammatory response, ischemia, and environment, as well as variable expression of proteins and growth factors within the local tissue, all play a role in the disease process. Common treatments of severe disease include open fasciectomy or fasciotomy. These procedures may be complicated by the complex anatomic relationships between cords (pathologic contracted fascia) and adjacent neurovascular structures. Recent advances in the management of Dupuytren disease involve less invasive treatments, such as percutaneous needle fasciotomy and injectable collagenase Clostridium histolyticum. Postoperative management focuses on minimizing the cellular response of cord disruption and maximizing range of motion through static or dynamic extension splinting.

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