Millions of Americans suffer with a disease that can lead to the permanent bending of fingers. It’s called Duputren’s (DOO-PA-TREN’S) Contracture. In this week’s Medical Monday, Shawn Cunningham talks to one man who’s hand mobility has been restored thanks to a nonsurgical procedure offered at Cary Medical Center.
Raynold (RAIN-OLD) Blair is looking forward to the rest of the summer. He’ll be playing guitar and going fishing. Something he hasn’t done in quite awhile. Raynold now has full use of his right hand after living with a disease called Dupuytren’s (DOO-PA-TREN’S) Contracture for more than twenty years.
“you don’t even know that it takes place this has been like this for maybe twenty years and you don’t know it’s a slow thing its a slow process and you don’t notice it till all of a sudden and you can’t straighten your hand,” says Blair.
Voice of Dr. Mark Perlmutter
“there is an abnormal protein within that cord and its a muscle like protein and it contracts but it doesn’t relax ever and as that protein muscle contracts it pulls the fingers in and in and in and I’ve had patients come to me with their fingers so tight that I actually had to break their fingers in the operating room to get them to open up before I could fix them.”
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Dr. Mark Perlmutter is now performing a nonsurgical procedure involving a series of collagenaise injections that slowly open the hand and restore mobility.
“A collagenaise strategically injected right to the middle of the cord will dissolve the material of the cord and it’s a very caustic material so its a very delicate procedure nut done well it can save someone a huge surgery,” says Dr. Perlmutter.
Raynold (RAIN-NOLD) had the injections to his right hand a few months ago and has noticed a dramatic difference.
Blair adds “I can now stretch my hand I can put on a pair of gloves and I can make a fist. (he laughs)
According to WebMD, certain things predispose people to developing Dupuytren’s contracture.
Seizures, such as those seen in people with epilepsy
The condition usually runs in Northern European families or Scandinavian background. Dupuytren’s contracture is more common in men particularly those over age 40. Dr. Perlmutter says its important to pay attention to symptoms.
Raynold is so pleased with the outcome, he’s already scheduled another procedure late fall for his left hand. And he’s told family members who have the disease to consider doing the same.
Blair adds “My father had this and my son now has it.”
But like Raynold, they both have options to fix it.
Category: Your Health