As somebody with a strong family history of Dupuytren's, with sevearal ancestors and cousins affected and myself showing Dupuytren's in four fingers and Ledderhose in both feet, I have had the chance to experiment with several different treatments over the last 18 years. These treatments include surgery, radiotherapy and NA as well as the regular use of ultrasound.
This has shown that ultrasound treatment of early stage Dupuytren's may be of considerable value. One finger which I caught early (about one year after noticing nodule) at stage N has not deteriorated at all over the last 9 years. There is no contraction and the size of the nodule now is if anything somewhat smaller, reduced to 6mm from about 10mm. Another finger which had contracted to about 45 degrees and which had been operated upon 9 years ago , which I have also treated with ultrasound, has similarly remained unchanged.
In contrast, two other fingers, which were much further advanced when I started the ultrasound have both contracted.
It seems to me that regular ultrasound treatment can prevent the progression of Dupuytren's if caught early enough, it may also prevent recurrence after surgery. However, it seems of limited value if the disease has already progressed. The main effect appears to be on nodules, less on chords.
My ultrasound treatment was for 5 minutes every 2nd day, at 3 MHz and full power. No side effects except for occasional transient pins and needles. However, ultrasound head needs to be moved continuously during treatment in small circles.
As a scientist myself, I realize that the variable nature of DD may account for these effects without any effect of ultrasound. However, as I seem to have such a strong genetic load, the fact that finger 3 has not deteriorated at all over 9 years seems to make ultrasound treatment worth considering, especially as it is so simple and safe.
Three years later: Since writing this, I have developped three more areas with signs of Dupuytren's, one in my left proximal pharynx, one on my right medial pharynx and one between right thumb and index finger. All of these I have treated with ultrasound as soon as I became aware of them. All of them have become both softer and smaller. The old successfully treated location is still free from any contraction.
I have my own ultra sound machine as well. I bought it after my chiropractor did some treatments on my hand. I have always thought of it as more of a way to relieve the stiff and slightly swollen feeling in that my palm and fingers often have. My hand always feels better afterwards. It would be nice to think that it slows things down as well. This kind of makes sense as the ultra sound brings oxygen to cells that become oxygen deprived through the disease process.
I looked up sonic relief and found hey are selling for $199. Earlier I checked on ebay and Amazon and found quite a few units for around $150, others around $80 and some types going for as low as $40 to $50. I want to get one of the units but wonder if the cheaper ones, say the $80 types, are good enough??
I got a cheap unit from ebay, it's supposed to be a cosmetic device for improving skintone and cost $39. the following week it was offered for $29
There's not much that can break in those units as they are all solid state, piezoelectric crystals can never fail but the switches can. If it seems to help and then quits working I'll get a more heavy duty model.
To Ahari43-- Are you still doing treatment? For how many years did you do ultrasound treatment? How long did it take before you noticed the nodule decreased in size? Did the second nodule decrease in size? Thanks for what you wrote--any more details would be helpful. Why did you opt for ultrasound as it is nowhere mentioned as helpful--in fact quite the contrary--many papers (including Luck) say that ultrasound doesn't work. Perhaps, though all of these were on established contracture instead of initial nodules--just like the older wrong impression of radiation. Any comment by Wolfgang or other "cogniscenti" would be helpful. Thanks
I am still treating all my affected fingers regularly, about every second day but with some gaps due to holidays etc. I started in August 2000, so now nearly 9 years. This meant treating one small (about 7 mm diameter) relatively new nodule which at the time was about 1 year old, one recently opertaed finger (this had started to show the first nodules in about 1991), starting ultrasound treatment after it had healed, and one finger which had also started in 1991 but had progressed more slowly and had been treated with radiotherapy in May 2000. I noticed a softening of the nodule after just a few treatments, my cousin, who has also had a nodule for about six years, noticed a softening almost immediately when I offered her my machine. The reduction in size occurred very gradually over the years and it is now about 4 mm in diameter, but quite hard. There is now also a small chord extending below it into the root of my hand, but no contraction at all. The finger which had been operated has got some hard scar tissue below the skin, but as far as I can tell there is no recurrence of any contractile tissue. The third one, which had started in 1991 and had had radiotherapy in 2000 continued to deteriorate slowly and I had NA on it in 2007. This straightened it out but it continues to deteriorate but very slowly. However, the size of its nodules and chords is quite large, a chord extending from the root of my hand to the first nodule about 2 cm below the base of my index finger plus several more nodules into the finger itself.
Ultrasound was recommended to me by my chiropracter, who I had seen about a back problem. She had a family history herself and a receptionist, who she had treated. As I noticed the softening of the nodule quite quickly, I decided to get my own machine and continue the treatment myself on a regular basis. As I said before, it seems that the most effect is on a relatively new nodule and possibly also after an operation to prevent a recurrence. I can olny compare the experience with my third 'lucky' finger with that of its two preceding ones, and in comparison it has benefitted enormously. It should have reached the operation stage by now if it progressed at the same rate, and as a recurrence after an operation is quite common, I assume that there may be a beneficial effect, too.
The number of affected fingers shows that I have a very strong genetic load for this condition and the continued deterioration of the finger which has had radiotherapy and NA but was already well advanced at the start of these treatments shows to my mind the importance of starting any intervention early.