Dr. Stephen Helgemo, a hand specialist at Florida Hand Center, is one of the leading hand surgeons when it comes to performing needle aponeurotomy, a Dupuytren’s Contracture surgery as a treatment for Dupuytren’s Contracture.
Dupuytren’s Contracture is a painless condition that causes an abnormal thickening of the skin in the palm. It starts as a nodule or bump and may progress to the formation of cords or bands that can limit the ability to straighten the fingers.
Those considering a needle aponeurotomy as a Dupurtren’s Contracture treatment should watch this video of the procedure performed by Dr. Helgemo.
Needle aponeurotomy (or percutaneous fasciotomy) is a minimally invasive in-office procedure that breaks up the contracted fibers and allows the fingers to stretch back out for better use of the hand.
With needle aponeurotomy, which uses local anesthesia, contracted fibers beneath the skin are cut with the tip of a small needle. The goal is to cut the cord of abnormal tissue, resulting in straighter fingers without the ordeal of an open surgical procedure. There are many advantages to needle aponeurotomy. The time spent at the office of a hand speciailist for this procedure is trivial compared with time spent in the operating room for most other Dupuytren’s contracture procedures.
A recent study has shown that needle aponeurotomy is an effective, long lasting, and safe Dupuytren’s Contracture treatment. Like any procedure for Dupuytren’s, there is a chance of recurrence and the possible need for further Dupuytren’s Contracture surgery. An additional advantage is that the cost of the procedure in the Florida Hand Center office is significantly less than when performed in the hospital.
There is currently no medical treatment or “cure.” Dupuytren’s Contracture surgery is recommended when the inability to straighten the finger causes difficulty with function. Traditionally, Dupuytren’s Contracture surgery involves removing some of the abnormal tissue, allowing the fingers to straighten. It is impossible to remove all of the diseased tissue. The disease may come back or extend beyond the original area even after Dupuytren’s Contracture surgery. Surgery may involve working on the joints in the fingers if the contracture has led to stiffness. Although usually effective, open Dupuytrens’ Contracture surgery can lead to a difficult recovery with joint stiffness, wound care, and need for hand therapy. It is, however, a necessary choice for certain cases of Dupuytren’s contracture.