7 Ways to Avoid Dupuytren’s Contracture Surgery

ZigZag fasciectomy - Dupuytren's contracture surgery 7 Ways to Avoid Dupuytren’s Contracture Surgery

Dupuytren’s contracture surgery should be the last thing a person wants. Hand surgery should not be the first option to consider. Many conservative and effective treatment options are available to treat DC than the medical profession tells patients.

All surgery has risks.  Hand surgery is a big deal.  It is natural to dread having Dupuytren’s contracture surgery. Do everything possible to avoid it.

Here are seven ways to avoid or delay this kind of hand surgery.  Using three, four or more of these strategies at the same time improves the likelihood of avoiding Dupuytren’s contracture surgery.

Take 7 steps to avoid Dupuytren’s contracture surgery

  1. Heal it

    Self-repair and self-healing happen every day. Why not you? Do whatever you can to get rid of it.

    People report, especially in the early phase of DC, their palm lump or dimple will just go away on its own.  The body can naturally self-heal or repair DC like it heals so many other small and large health problems. This does not happen for everyone, but for an unknown percent of lucky folks, the DC self-heals. Obviously, there must be differences between the people who take care of their own DC, and whose who do not. The DCI treatment strategy is intended to help you be in that group who self-heal.

    So, in 2002 DCI developed a natural treatment strategy designed to help people heal their Dupuytren’s palm lump and finger cords. People who follow our suggestions generally do rather well.  We hear from 8-10 people using our large treatment plan, reporting they see moderate to marked reduction of their DC, for every one report of failure. For information about DC treatment plans.

  1. Stretch hand gently and often

    Stretch hand very gently, but also very often throughout the day.  Gently and frequently take your hand back.  Slowly reclaim lost finger movement. Gently reverse the finger contracture.  Make it a habit to gently but firmly, nudge the hand open and out.  Learn the DCI method of gentle hand stretching to assist your recovery.  Please note, there is a reason “gently” appears so many times in this paragraph.

    Aggressive hand stretching can injure and inflame tissue.  This can stimulate more collagen and fibrin production and make the DC worse.  Instead, develop a habit of gently stretching the DC hand frequently throughout the day, every day.

  1. Stay loose and relaxed

    Learn to stay loose and relaxed while using all parts of the upper extremities relaxed, especially the hands. Keep hands and forearms relaxed while working as hard as necessary. This seems like a contradiction, but it is not. Use minimal force to get the job done. No more than that.  Be busy and work hard in a more relaxed and comfortable way.  Lifting heavy objects, pulling and pushing against resistance, does not mean keeping the hands and forearms tight and tense.

    Since 2002, we talk to hundreds of people with Dupuytren’s contracture every year. During that time we noticed that not all, but a high percent, of people with DC are type-A high-stress people.  They push themselves and work hard in more ways than are necessary.  Our theory is that their type-A tendencies push them to keep their hands and forearms especially tight when doing most things. They tend to put a “death grip” on whatever they are doing; it is how they do everything:

    1. playing a piano, guitar or violin
    2. holding a hammer, paint brush or telephone
    3. typing on a keyboard or messaging on a cellphone
    4. flying a plane
    5. cooking, cleaning, carrying groceries
    6. holding the steering wheel while driving a carIf this describes you, please work with yourself to keep all parts of the upper extremity – especially the hands and forearms – as relaxed, loose, and comfortable as possible.
  1. Keep blood sugar level low

    People with Dupuytren’s contracture are ten times more likely to have diabetes than the general population. In other words, there is a strong association between elevated blood sugar and   Even if a person is not diabetic, the risk is still present.  Eating high carbohydrate foods often, elevates the blood sugar often.  For many people, it is almost constant.  This creates an almost constant rise of blood sugar. Worse yet, an elevated blood sugar is followed by an abnormally lowered blood sugar, which cause another set of problems for DC.  This connection is not surprising because diabetes, or even a frequently fluctuating blood sugar, can make any other health problem worse.

  2. Alcohol

    Alcoholism and liver cirrhosis are frequently mentioned as risk factors for DC. Science does not understand the exact mechanism between alcohol and DC, but there is a strong statistical association.  To help your body heal DC, always drink alcohol in moderation, or avoid it completely.

  3. Smoking

    Cigarette smoking has a greater negative statistical impact on DC than drinking alcohol. Smoking reduces blood circulation and the ability of the blood to carry oxygen. These reactions can cause or aggravate DC.  To help your body heal DC, do not smoke.

  4. Prescription drugs

    All drugs have side effects, even aspirin. Most importantly, be aware there are many drugs (verapamil, phenobarbital, ibuprofen, metoprolol, etc.) that are strongly suspected to cause, trigger or aggravate Dupuytren’s contracture. Review the many commonly used drugs that might cause Dupuytrens contracture. If you take one of these, ask your doctor if it is possible to prescribe a different drug.

In conclusion

It should be encouraging to know that one or all of these seven natural Dupuytren’s strategies might help someone avoid, or at least delay, Dupuytren’s contracture surgery. Of those seven things to do, the most powerful is to use natural therapies to treat Dupuytren’s contracture.

Dr. Herazy

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