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(Formally) working guitarist with DC
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01/23/09 13:31
bken 
01/23/09 13:31
bken 
(Formally) working guitarist with DC

I've been a guitarist for 28 years. I started at 14 years-of-age. I practiced incessantly every free hour I had. By the time I was 17, I felt a small nodule at the first joint of my pinky on my left (playing) hand. I went to my Doctor and he dismissed it as a ganglion cyst.

By my mid-20s, that "cyst" was getting bigger and I was getting a slight "dimple-pucker" next to my ring finger when I extended all my fingers. I still had full dexterity on the fretboard, so it wasn't of concern.

By my mid-30s, the node didn't seem much larger, but I had a little difficulty getting my pinky to lay completely flat on a table. I had no idea what was happening until I did some research on the internet that what I was probably experiencing was DC.

I am now 42 and I have a new node in my second joint. It seems like it showed-up shortly after I started playing really dramatic stretching runs on guitar. I now have a noticeable curve in my pinky. I cannot simply wave "hello", without my pinky sticking slightly forward. To get my hand completely flat on a table requires pressure to flatten my pinky.

I'm not having a problem if my thumb is high on the back of the neck where the fingers are curved on the fretboard, but stretched on barre chords and "flat" runs are now difficult.

I have a "snapping-type" motion when I try to move my pinky laterally to my ring finger. It's *very* disconcerting and I know I need to see a specialist.

I don't know if NA will help, but I'm willing to try anything (including fasciotomy).

Does NA help? And how long?

Any other musicians who've had surgery? How did it work-out for you?

Thanks in advance and keep playing,

Bill


Edited 01/23/09 13:34

01/23/09 20:16
jimh 
01/23/09 20:16
jimh 
Re: (Formally) working guitarist with DC

I played guitar and bass for a long time - before I had DC. (DC didn't end my musical career, it came later in life.) I've had 2 hand surgeries. So I know what you're up against.

The first thing is - don't get talked into surgery. It's risky, recovery is long and difficult, and it inevitably does some damage. Scar tissue results which reduces flexibility and inhibits circulation. Nerves can be cut - it happened to me, causing partial loss of sensation in one finger. Your hand will never be quite as strong and flexible as it was before. And surgery tends to close off other possible treatments in the future.

Try NA - definitely. There's no collateral damage, recovery is immediate, and it can be repeated. The only question is, will NA be able to release your particular contracture? It depends on the location and degree of adhesion to surrounding tissue.

Start reading about Xiaflex, it's the next big thing for DC. But for the present, NA is your first choice. If possible go to one of the really experienced guys like Eaton in Florida or Denkler in California. They're experts on this problem and have seen it in all its variations.

Hang in there. NA and Xiaflex are just now starting to really displace surgery, but most MDs haven't figured that out yet and continue to push conventional surgery.

01/24/09 01:34
newman 
01/24/09 01:34
newman 

Re: (Formally) working guitarist with DC

Hi Bill Australia Calling,
For your interest sake have a look at the article written by LUCK,located under Literature-Dupuytrens"s disease. Your explanation describes the "Involutional Stage " to a T, where the puckering takes place and draws in the surrounding skin where the nodules form and join up forming cords. Not many patients experience this puckering which they can visibly see in the hand. LUCK explains that " 1 millimetre at the joint will cause several degrees of flexion contracture. Radiotherapy works best on the nodules before there is any contracture. Look at all options. I was diagnosed at 35 Yr had no surgery until I was 50 Yr. Since then I 've had 15 surgeries including 4 grafts. In some patients the surgery triggers the next. I've had RT. in 2007 after a repeat surgery where I developed new nodules.The results of the RT.have been posative. Finally I do stretching exercises daily .Keep Playing . Regards


Edited 01/24/09 02:04

01/24/09 04:03
bken 
01/24/09 04:03
bken 
Re: (Formally) working guitarist with DC

Thank you so much Jim and Newman. It means a lot to me. I will certainly look into your advice.

I live in the outer Philadelphia, PA suburbs and have just learned that the Rothman Institute and University of Pennsylvania have specialists in DC. I'll visit them first.

I'm still playing (not professionally), but it breaks my heart when I can no longer play something I could do easily just 5-10 years before.

You spend most of your life practicing a craft to a great level and then this happens.

I'm lucky to have just found this forum.

DC sucks!

Peace brothers,

Bill

01/24/09 16:56
jocond 
01/24/09 16:56
jocond 
Re: (Formally) working guitarist with DC

Bill,

Welcome to this forum. If you didn't already notice there is a list of Doctors in the USA and Canada that perform NA. There is Dr. Pess and Atik from Eatontown, NJ which shouldn't be that far of a drive for you.
As a matter of fact, I'm scheduled for NA with Dr. Pess this coming Wed. It's a five hour drive me. I live two hours east of Pittsburgh in a small town called Altoona, PA.
Let us know what you find out at the two Institutes you mentioned and whether they do NA.
Hope the info helps.


Joe

01/28/09 14:20
northernlights_11 
01/28/09 14:20
northernlights_11 
Re: (Formally) working guitarist with DC

Good morning. I just wanted to let you know that my husband, a career firefighter has DContracture. Went to Dr. Binhammer in Toronto Dec 9 for NA. Went well. Both hands done. Recuperation in Texas for three weeks after. For January physiotherapist and massage weekly. Only one finger left hand still slight curve, but; we're working on that. Night splints probably for another month or so, and will continue with the massage therapy. Procedure took two hours for both hands, Dr. Binhammer excellent, very knowledgeable. NA is the way to go.

08/25/15 19:23
jefg 
08/25/15 19:23
jefg 
Re: (Formally) working guitarist with DC

DC, NA, RT..... Guys I'm sure you're just trying to save 3 or keystrokes here, but it'd be a great help to those of us who are unitiated, if you'd use the actual terms the abbreviations refer to. Just for the sake of communications/clarity. Thanks.

08/25/15 19:32
wach 

Administrator

08/25/15 19:32
wach 

Administrator

Re: (Formally) working guitarist with DC

DC = Dupuytren's contracture
NA = needle aponeurotomy http://www.dupuytren-online.info/needle_aponeurotomy.html
RT = radiotherapy http://www.dupuytren-online.info/radiation_therapy.html

If you read through our website you will find lots of additional information. Just use the above menu and look at "Disease", "Treatments" etc. It might take a little time to read through the stuff but it's worth the time spent!

Wolfgang

jefg:
DC, NA, RT..... Guys I'm sure you're just trying to save 3 or keystrokes here, but it'd be a great help to those of us who are unitiated, if you'd use the actual terms the abbreviations refer to. Just for the sake of communications/clarity. Thanks.

08/25/15 19:56
spanishbuddha 

Administrator

08/25/15 19:56
spanishbuddha 

Administrator

Re: (Formally) working guitarist with DC

As well as the usual well known Internet forum abbreviations, such as used here IANAD I am not a doctor, we use DD for Dupuytren's Disease and LD for Ledderhose disease.

We do it on purpose, not to confuse or baffle, but to make sure you dig deeper.

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