Have you ever used therapeutic laser on Dupuytren contracture?

Have you ever used therapeutic laser on this condition?  Have you had success with laser and do you recommend it? I have access to laser treatment and have used it twice on my bumps (2 on the right palm.)  Thank you.



The great majority of therapies DCI recommends that are used together in a Dupuytren treatment plan have been researched with some degree of positive or favorable outcome.  This is not true of cold laser therapy; it has never been researched directly for treatment of Dupuytren contracture.

In the past I have considered conducting a private research program with volunteer members from DCI to test the efficacy of non-penetrating or cold laser therapy on palm lumps and cords, but have refrained due to cost and logistical issues.    If you are interested in participating in such as study please contact me personally and I will investigate this issue for your benefit.    I would be interested to look into such a laser project since I  have had often thought it might hold promise.   TRH

10 thoughts on “Have you ever used therapeutic laser on Dupuytren contracture?

  1. Blair Jackson says:

    My wife has dupuytren’s contracture and had the typical fillet procedure done on each hand, both hands are permantly crippled because of this procedure. She has golf ball size lumps on her feet, she would rather be in constant pain aas her doctor states the surgery is far worse on feet. I also wonder why laser isn’t used for dupuytren’s contracture as it is in spinal surgery: “Complications of the spine can cause chronic and sometimes debilitating back, leg and neck pain. When it comes to several common disorders of the spine, laser surgery can prove to be a very effective treatment option. Sciatica, arthritis, herniated discs, annual tears, foraminal narrowing, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease and scar tissue formation are some spinal conditions that lend itself to successful treatment through laser spine surgery. Local anesthesia and mild sedation is all that is required for spine laser surgery. Since general anesthesia is not used, anesthetic complications are also minimized.” How do we teach the old dogs new tricks to help dupuytren’s contracture? Is it a matter of money?

  2. Dr.Herazy says:

    Greetings Blair,

    When Dupuytren’s contracture surgery goes bad it can be a nightmare. Sorry it happened to your wife. Bet the surgeon did not prepare you for the possibility of a bad outcome; they almost never do.

    I have thought the same thing about using laser surgery for Dupuytren’s contracture. I will have to ask a surgeon-friend of mine why it is generally not done. But I do have a theory of my own: Even though spinal surgery is done with lasers, not all of it is done with lasers. I am not positive, but I think that only certain kinds of incisions into certain spinal tissues are made with laser equipment because the work that is done is not “fine” enough like can be done with a scalpel. What I am saying is that even in laser spinal surgery they still might do some of it with a scalpel. This gets back to your question about money. It might be easier to bill the insurance company big bucks for laser surgery compared to conventional scalpel surgery; on top of that it might simply be a marketing strategy to impress people that spinal surgery with lasers – sounds more impressive.

    Hand surgery is special. Those little hands of yours are just crammed with so many nerves and so tightly packed with blood vessels and more nerves in such a small space that hand surgery rivals spinal surgery in complexity and difficulty. To be good enough to be a hand surgeon is a special thing. If I am right about a scalpel being a better tool than a laser for such tightly packed tissue, then that might be the answer. Dupuytren’s contracture surgery can be an absolute bear, and most people walk into it like it is going to easy – and afterward they get the shock of their lives. Better to first use Alt Med to see if the Dupuytren’s contracture can be handled that way so that surgery is not necessary. TRH

  3. Dr.Herazy says:

    Greetings Sandy,

    I do not know of anyone who has used ASTYM treatment for their Dupuytren’s contracture. I can only speculate how someone with Dupuytren’s contracture might respond to ASTYM therapy.

    The ASTYM System is a procedure of very deep and painful soft tissue massage delivered by various tools, similar in ways to Graston or Rolfing. Much deep tissue inflammation occurs as a result of ASTYM treatment because of traumatic forces applied to offensive scar tissues; considerable pain, swelling and bruising occur because of prolonged and repeated tissue trauma. This trauma and inflammation raises caution and concern for someone considering the ASTYM System for Dupuytren’s contracture. Such aggressive treatment might back-fire and make a case of Dupuytren’s contracture worse simply because Dupuytren’s contracture is unlike most other soft tissue problems in that it does not respond favorably to injury or over-stimulation. Because Dupuytren’s contracture responds to the over-stimulation and trauma of surgery by recurrence and worsening, the same response could happen after aggressive ASTYM therapy. Certainly, I could be wrong about this, and I am only speculating, but it seems logical.

    If any reader has had any direct experience – good or bad – applying ASTYM deep tissue treatment to their Dupuytren’s contracture we would really appreciate hearing from you. TRH

  4. David Hutchinson says:

    I have Dupuytren’s contracture in both hands for over 10 years. Now at age 57 one hand is worse and small finger bending. Considering k laser as an alternate to surgery. However, not finding reputable advice online about Dupuytren’s contracture treatment. Can you please advise? Thank you.

  5. Dr.Herazy says:

    Greetings David,

    Laser treatment for Dupuytren’s contracture has intrigued me for a long while, since it seems to be a good application for this conservative method. A soft or non-cutting (helium neon-type) laser that does not overstimulate the fibrous tissue would seem to be ideal. I have contacted many laser manufacturers, researches and authors for information and guidance in this area, and have found very little investigation or treatment has been done for Dupuytren’s contracture. Most say it should help DC, but none I have found have availed themselves to do it yet. This is probably the reason you have not found much information about treating Dupuytren’s contracture with a soft laser.

    You are wise to look for alternatives to Dupuytren’s contracture surgery. I am not saying that no one should ever have Dupuytren’s contracture surgery, but with such a poor record of truly successful outcomes and the speed of recurrence I believe more conservative treatment measures should be attempted first; conservative treatment first, more aggressive and risky treatment later.

    Dupuytren’s contracture sometimes goes away on its own in the early stages; the immune system can and does heal DC as it heals other health problems. Since 2002 the Dupuytren’s Contracture Institute has studied how that process of self-healing works and how we can assist that process. DCI’s efforts are intended to encourage and support self-healing in any way that makes sense. Sometimes the DCI Alt Med alternative treatment works and sometimes it does not help. Our success rate with Dupuytren’s contracture is that we get 8-10 reports of improvement (from moderate to marked) for every one report of failure. As we learn how to use the natural vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other therapies better perhaps the reports of improvement will increase. Please look over the information on the DCI website so you can learn how this can be done.

    Many cases we work with are in the range of being 10 years old, and some older.

    Please look around the DCI website for ways to eliminate your Dupuytren’s contracture. Good luck. TRH

  6. Elaine Agee says:

    I have been having cold laser treatments to both my hands and feet from my chiropractor. My feet, which started first, have become inactive. However the condition has continued to contract on my right hand much faster than my left. My chiropractor has advised that the cords would soften with the laser.

  7. 88TRH88 says:

    Greetings Elaine,

    Thank you for your comments about cold laser.

    Here is my experience with cold laser for fibromatosis of the hand (Dupuytren’s contracture) and the foot (Ledderhose disease). Many years ago when these small portable cold lasers were first available, I attended a 3-day seminar on the subject, given by a university professor. His conclusion to my specific question about using cold laser to treat Dupuytren’s contracture, Peyronie’s disease and Ledderhose disease, was “I have never heard of any serious work in that area, and doubt it would be helpful. However, anything is possible.” When I got home I contacted several manufacturers to learn what I could about this subject. None of them had ever heard of these conditions. This was a telling bit of information. I assume that a manufacturer of a new treatment device, like a small cold laser, would know all of the conditions to which it can be successfully applied.

    As the hype about cold laser intensifies periodically, over the years I again have spoken to the manufacturers of these machines, to learn if perhaps something new or different has been created or developed within the cold laser industry. Each time I am told that the primary value of the cold laser is in pain control, and a few superficial skin conditions. No cold laser manufacturer I have spoken with claims any efficacy to treat Dupuytren’s contracture, Peyronie’s disease or Ledderhose disease.

    Every now and then someone will tell me they are using a cold laser on their Dupuytren’s contracture or Peyronie’s disease. I never hear positive feedback about making actual reduction of the fibrous tissue.

    For the time being, I will assume that your Ledderhose has become inactive because it is common for Ledderhose to periodically do that. Actually, all of these fibromatoses conditions have variable periods of activity and dormancy, sometimes lasting months or years. So, your comment about inactivity could be unrelated to the cold laser. However, it is also possible it is helping you. I am not there, and you are. Time will tell.

    Please let me know if you experience actual improvement of the size, shape, density, surface features, degree of adhesion or improved range of movement associated with your various problems. TRH

  8. Sadie says:

    So curious if you’ve looked into a light company that makes claims about breaking down scar tissue and the potential for dealing with the inflammation and fibrous tissue of Dupuytren’s contracture. I’m in my early 30s, type 1 diabetic, probably late stage 1/early stage 2 of DC, and extremely reticent to have surgery without exploring other avenues. Sadly, there doesn’t seem to a lot out there. Thoughts?

  9. Dr. Herazy says:

    Greetings Sadie,

    Thanks for the question about Dupuytren’s contracture treatment. You are wise to do all you can to avoid the potential pit falls associated with recurrence after Dupuytren’s contracture surgery. Hand surgery, last, last, last, only after a great conservative effort falls short. We are told by 8-10 people that they note moderate to marked improvement of their Dupuytren’s contracture under the DCI large plan, for every one report of failure.

    I altered your question by removing the name of the company and the link to it. This was done for a few reasons.

    In the past I have tried to communicate with the company you asked me about. I never got a reply or information from them. One of the concerns I have about this company is the cost of their red light product, which they refer to as a laser. I do not want to get technical here, but they describe their product as a 500mW device, which makes it a basic red light machine. In the marketplace today a small portable rechargeable red light device like this would cost perhaps $150-$300 (a few even far less), yet this company is charging 10X this amount. Their customers remark about the beauty of the machine, that it has an engraved logo, how it is a pleasure to hold. Perhaps this is why the device costs so much. In their website information there is no explanation what makes their red light different than all the others.

    Red light therapy devices are being researched extensively for DC in the medical community during the past few years. In most cases these investigations have revealed good outcomes; there is a growing body of research information that red light and blue light in certain wavelengths has a positive effect on Dupuytren’s contracture. DCI is in the process of conducting our own investigations into red light therapy for Dupuytren’s contracture. Stay tuned for our independent findings.

    If you wish to participate in the DCI red light Dupuytren’s contracture therapy program, please let us know. TRH

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