Just Diagnosed With Dupuytrens Contracture? 2 Tips For Dealing With The Physical & Emotional Complications Of The Disease
If your doctor just diagnosed you with Dupuytrens Contracture of the hand, then you may have become overwhelmed with emotion as he or she was explaining just what having the disease means. If you had never heard of Dupuytrens Contracture before your diagnosis, then you believe that it is very rare and that you were just one of a few of the "unlucky ones" who developed it. However, this condition is more common than you suspect, and about 200,000 people in the United States alone currently have the disease.
It is also difficult to deal with a newly diagnosed disease or illness, so read on to learn two tips for dealing with both the physical and emotional complications of Dupuytrens Contracture.
1. Learn About Treatment Options Before You Need Them
If you have so far only developed the first signs of Dupuytrens Contracture, which are typically nodules of tissue on your palm along the base of your ring and/or pinky fingers, then you may not have yet asked your doctor about what the treatment options are for the disease. While treatment is not typically advised until the disease becomes more severe and your pinky or ring fingers actually begin contracting, learning about your treatment options now can help prepare you mentally for what may happen in the future.
The great news is that while surgery is an option for advanced Dupuytrens Contracture, many people's hands respond very well to less invasive treatments and never even need surgery. This can greatly ease your fears that "surgery is imminent" when you may not ever need it.
When your condition begins producing fibrous cords that contract one or both of your two smallest fingers, your doctor will likely recommend either Dupuytrens Contracture needling or enzyme injections.
To perform Dupuytrens Contracture needling, your hand is first numbed, and your doctor will then use a multi-needle medical instrument to "break up" the fibrous cords on your hand by inserting the instrument right into the cords through your skin. Then, he or she will break the cords manually to free your fingers.
Alternatively, he or she may choose to inject the cords with enzymes that that dissolve them by creating a mild chemical reaction. After the enzymes are given some time to dissolve the cords, your doctor will then break them manually, just as they would after needling.
2. Join a Dupuytren Support Group
Since there are so many other people who suffer from Dupuytrens Contracture of the hand and even Dupuytrens Contracture of the foot (also called Ledderhose Disease), it can be a great idea to join an online or in-person Dupuytren's Disease Support Group to discuss your worries and concerns about living with the disease with others who know just what you are experiencing.
You may have left your doctor's office with many questions about Dupuytrens Contracture that you just didn't have time to ask during your appointment or you did not think of until after you left the office. After you join a support group, you can ask other sufferers these questions along with advice for living a normal life with Dupuytrens.
Remember that while it can be tough living with any new disease, thankfully, Dupuytrens Contracture is non-life threatening and easily kept under control today with the many new, non-invasive treatment available for it.
If you were just diagnosed with Dupuytrens Contracture, then follow these two tips for managing the physical and emotional complications that the disease can cause. Don't be afraid to call your doctor with any questions you have and join a Dupuytrens Contracture to connect with a group of fellow Dupuytrens sufferers who can provide you great advice for living a full, happy life with the disease.