I had the NA done by Dr. Eaton in Jupiter Fl app. 2 years ago and I have been extremely satisfied so far. I do have one problem that I would love to find some answers too. I waited so long to have the NA done that my little finger stayed bent for so long that the joint is frozen and this keeps the little finger in a 45 degree bend. I have read where they are now using collagenase for dupretrens, but do any of you know if these injections(when they become available) would help this frozen joint? Or does anyone know of any thing that might help this situation. Thanks wwc
wwc, your frozen joint is probably the result of Dupuytren's not treated fro too long but it is not Dupuytren's itself. The odds are bad that collagenase wiill be able to release your joint. Collagenase breaks cords but in your case Dr. Eaton has done that already with the needle. Did Dr. Eaton comment on your frozen joint?
I know of a single patient who, after surgery, succeeded in getting his still bent pinkie straight again by rigorous exercises. He basically kept streching it until it was straight, much to the surprise of the surgeon. But I don't know how long he was able to maintain this situation. Also I wouldn't recommend trying it because this might damage to your joint and tendons. It is also possible that your joint itself has already been deformed and now hinders stretching.
You need to work this with a hand surgeon who can analyze the situation in your joint. In your case suggestions via the Internet might be dangerous.
Thanks Woofgang, I appreciated your answer. You are correct that it is not the dupretrens causing my problem. It is as you suggested, I let the finger stay bent for too long before having the NA done. This is strictly a joint issue. Again thank you for your answer. wwc
To WWC....you said you were satisfied after two years with the results, but the joint is still frozen at 45 degrees...what was the degree of contraction before NA? what joint is involved? usually the PIP joint is the one that gets poorer results...and how long was the joint frozen before you did the NA with Dr. Eaton?
LubaM, Before I ever went to Dr. Eaton I had gone to regular hand surgeons, who advised me not to do anything until my hands got so bad that I could not put them into my pockets. I don't recall how long I went, but it was years and years before going to Dr. Eaton. Dr. Eaton released the cords of the dupetrens, which in turn released this finger, but the joint in the little finger had just been bent and not moved for so long. So when he released the dupetrens, the joint is frozen. This is my fault for waiting so long. Had I gone to Dr. Eaton five years earlier, I would have both hands perfect. I guess I continue to have this false hope that someone will come up with some kind of injection into this joint that will help to free it up. I have read where some people have had this little finger amputated, but I hope I never have to do that. Hope this clears up my situation. wwc
If it is the PIP rather than the MP, it will be even more challenging. My pinky PIP is essentially in the same boat. Dr. Denkler correctly advised that N/A will be of no utility in this case, and collegense - essentially chemical N/A, isn't likely to really help either.
Now if its palmer cords curling your MP joint, then maybe, but it doesn't sound like that is it?
My choice is to live with the pinky as is, or try a combination of surgery (second) to release and then a device known as the "Digit Widget" to ensure extension through recovery. No fun and compliance will be challenging, so I haven't decided yet.
Jack, digit widget looks awful! Why not use a night splint? It might do the job as well and is comfortable enough that you will really wear it. The additional extension that the digit widget might achive will probably not last long and might not be worth the effort. Just my 5 cents.
My problem is indeed with the PIP(middle joint). The reason I am satisfied with what Dr. Eaton did was because before I had the NA my fingers were pulled toward my hand. After NA my fingers are straight where they are connected to my hand. It is just the PIP joint that has never straightened. Again this was two years ago and at the time Dr. Eaton said there was nothing that could be done for this joint as it had stayed in this position too long. My reason for posting was that I was hopeing that maybe something has happened in the last two years that would help this situation. One question was has the degree of bend changed over the two years and to the best of my memory the degree of bend is about the same now. I cannot tell it has gotten any worse or any better. I did what I was told at the time and that was too wait until I could not put my hands in my pockets before having anything done. Well in hindsight, that was terrible information. I had the NA done in March 97, I believe if I had had it done even just back to 95, I would not be having this discussion. My opinion is that if you have Dupetrens, don't wait as long as I did. wwc
to wwc....its unfortunate that some "traditional" surgeons are so misinformed about the possible benefits of NA and some of them (at least in my experience) so against the procedure....the same happened to me...I was first diagnosed with Dupuytrens about 6-7 yrs. ago by a hand surgeon at Kaiser (an HMO in southern CA.) who also told me to return when my finger was totally curled up. An additional surgeon who I consulted for a second opinion said the same....In 2006, when my pinky was at 90 degrees in the PIP joint, I saw the third doctor (a very reputable surgeon at Cedars Sinai) who immediately scheduled surgery...
At that time, I had started to research Dupuytrens and had come across this (old one) forum....when I mentioned NA to the Dr. he was totally against it...Because of the positive posts on the forum, I cancelled surgery and did NA with Dr. Denkler in July 2006...it was very successful, my finger was perfectly straight....but after a year it started to bend again and is now again at 90 degrees....I am re-doing NA in March...I will try to avoid surgery as long as I can.
When I developed multiple nodules in my other hand, I opted for radiotherapy with Dr. Tripuraneni in La Jolla, which I just completed and which is showing very good results so far....
I am so thankful to this forum, for all the wonderful information available to those of us who have this disease....and especially grateful for all the doctors who are offering us other alternatives to treat DD. I know that surgery is sometimes necessary in some aggressive cases, but the information available to us here gives us the choices to seek other solutions....
and its wonderful to be able to communicate with others who really understand what you're going through....