Also known as Dupuytren’s contracture, this is a debilitating progressive hand disorder in which a thickening and shortening of a deep tissue layer (palmar fascia) in the hand, gradually causes the fingers to claw as they are pulled towards the palms, thereby restricting movement. The progression of the disease can take decades before hand function becomes limited.
While the cause is unknown, Dupuytren’s disease tends to be higher among older men. There is a hereditary link as well, and people with Celtic or Scandinavian ancestry are also at greater risk due to the ‘Viking Gene.’ A similar affliction to Dupuytren’s disease was recorded in Norse folklore from the 12th century. It is supposed that the Vikings disseminated it throughout Northern Europe and beyond as they traveled on their voyages.
Mr Kode offers surgery for Dupuytren’s disease, and the technique used is also dependent on the condition’s severity. It may involve cutting the shortened fascia bands through small incisions in the palm, removing the thickened fascia, or removing the fascia and surrounding skin – in which case, a skin graft is created to cover the palm. It is important to realise that Dupuytren’s disease sometimes returns after surgery at the same or another location on the palm, and tends to progress at the same rate as previously.