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Dupuytren's Disease: Surgery Complications

Topic Overview

Complications following surgery for Dupuytren's disease are common. They occur in about 1 out of 5 cases.1 Complications can include:

  • Delayed wound healing. This is the most common complication, and it is usually mild.
  • Infection of the wound.
  • Stiffness, tenderness, or contracture, with the fingers still being curled.
  • Damage to the skin, which results from trying to surgically separate the skin from the diseased tissue (palmar fascia).
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy.
  • Very uncommon problems such as:
    • Nerve injury.
    • Loss of circulation in the fingers.
    • Collection of blood or blood clots in the tissues (hematoma).

In severe Dupuytren's disease, the tissue between your skin and tendons (palmar fascia) thickens to the point that your fingers are bent and cannot be straightened (contracture). If you lose the ability to wear gloves or hold objects, or if your hands become painful, surgery may be done to relieve the contracture. A skin graft may be done after surgery to cover open areas in the palm. Surgery may not restore total hand function. Even with successful surgery, thickened palm tissue may develop again in the same place or in a new areas of the hands. Reoperation is sometimes needed to get your hand function back.

Related Information

References

Citations

  1. Brown AN, Gilkeson GS (2005). Fibrosing diseases: Diabetic stiff hand syndrome, Dupuytren's contracture, palmar and plantar fasciitis, retroperitoneal fibrosis, and Peyronie's disease. In WJ Koopman, LW Moreland, eds., Arthritis and Allied Conditions: A Textbook of Rheumatology, 15th ed., vol. 2, pp. 2093–2108. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Herbert von Schroeder, MD, MSc, FRCSC - Hand and Microvascular Surgery
Last Revised March 22, 2012

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