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22 year old female with ulnar nerve injury, now Dupuytren's??
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06/06/13 05:34
kelly 
06/06/13 05:34
kelly 
22 year old female with ulnar nerve injury, now Dupuytren's??

Hi Everyone.

So, I'm posting to this forum as I have nowhere else to turn and I'd like to hear from people with this ailment, and if I might possibly have this as well. So thank you for your time in reading my story!

History: I'm a 22 year old female (of Irish/ German ancestry); I don't know of anyone in my extended family with it. HOWEVER, early January, I impulsively hit my cellphone with my left hand, apparently, right at Guyon's Canal, because since then, I have been plagued by near constant numbness and pain in my left hand/wrist and forearm. I saw a Physical therapist for a little over a month and it has gotten better and symptoms have mostly subsided.

I stopped seeing my therapist towards the end of April, and right after, I noticed the ring finger on my affected hand seeming to be "pulled" down. It was very hard to type and it caused the pain to return to my hand. Upon the PT's advice, I stretched my hand, and that helped a lot with the pain and the tightness in my ring finger especially (the main affected finger).

However, 4 weeks later, I noticed very large (.5-1'' diameter) soft (not hard) swellings on my palm in 2 specific circular areas, one is beneath and in between my ring and pinky finger, the other is smaller and in between my ring and middle finger. (see attached photo, the affected hand is on the right- my left hand-- and just a disclaimer, I haven't been paying video games despite the controller in the picture). Also, the tightness in my hand and the pain has returned as well. I can fully extend my hand/ fingers, but it is definitely a more laborious effort, and I still have the pain.

My hand doctor told me, over the phone (I called 1 week into these new symptoms), to ice it and take ibuprofen for a week and call him if it doesn't improve. 1 week later, no change. So, in short, I have been experiencing Dupuytren's symptoms for approx. 6 weeks now.

I am going to call him tomorrow, and schedule to see him, but I would really like to hear your opinions!

Thank you for your time!!!

kelly

Edited 06/06/13 05:36

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06/06/13 09:40
spanishbuddha 

Administrator

06/06/13 09:40
spanishbuddha 

Administrator

Re: 22 year old female with ulnar nerve injury, now Dupuytren's??

Caution is to be advised trying to get a diagnosis via the Internet, and IANAD.

That does not look or sound like DD to me, but no doubt someone else will be along to say their DD looked and started just like that.

Advice so far for the original 'injury' is ok, ice and therapy, but I would have included rest, rest from gaming, mobile typing, mouse, keyboard, in fact just about every normal use of the hand. Then after 6 weeks or so I would see a doctor and possibly a hand specialist. It could just be a ganglion, swelling, inflammation, all from the original injury, and they can take a while to settle down.

If it is DD, keep an eye for hardening of and more nodules and the development of cords. DD can progress very slowly and no action is needed, or sometimes within a few months a contracture might occur.

You should get specialised opinion and advice from an experienced hand physician.

06/06/13 18:48
kelly 
06/06/13 18:48
kelly 
Re: 22 year old female with ulnar nerve injury, now Dupuytren's??

spanishbuddha:
Caution is to be advised trying to get a diagnosis via the Internet, and IANAD.

That does not look or sound like DD to me, but no doubt someone else will be along to say their DD looked and started just like that.

Advice so far for the original 'injury' is ok, ice and therapy, but I would have included rest, rest from gaming, mobile typing, mouse, keyboard, in fact just about every normal use of the hand. Then after 6 weeks or so I would see a doctor and possibly a hand specialist. It could just be a ganglion, swelling, inflammation, all from the original injury, and they can take a while to settle down.

If it is DD, keep an eye for hardening of and more nodules and the development of cords. DD can progress very slowly and no action is needed, or sometimes within a few months a contracture might occur.

You should get specialised opinion and advice from an experienced hand physician.

Thank you for your comments. I do not self-diagnose myself, but I am, by nature, a curious person and would like to research options/ theories as to what could be wrong with my hand. This is compounded by the fact that many doctors do not take their patients seriously, (and that often the case with me because I am a young woman). I just wanted to hear insight because these symptoms (tightness in the hand, especially ring finger, and the physical deformation) happened 4 months after the injury, and my hand seemed to have been mostly healed before this happened. It has now been 5 months since the original injury. Additionally, because I heard that trauma could indeed be the instigating factor for DD, I wanted to research it.

That being said, I haven't played video games since the injury (in January), and have been resting it/ icing it as much as I could. I couldn't as much as I should have back in January- April because I was still in classes.

Again, thank you for your insight, and I will heed your advice.

06/07/13 20:19
spanishbuddha 

Administrator

06/07/13 20:19
spanishbuddha 

Administrator

Re: 22 year old female with ulnar nerve injury, now Dupuytren's??

Please do come back and tell us how you progress and what the verdict is.

If it is DD we have lots of people who can share advice and experience on different treatment options. Or not, as "wait and see" is a valid option.

Best wishes

06/12/13 08:39
kelly 
06/12/13 08:39
kelly 
Re: 22 year old female with ulnar nerve injury, now Dupuytren's??

spanishbuddha:
Please do come back and tell us how you progress and what the verdict is.

If it is DD we have lots of people who can share advice and experience on different treatment options. Or not, as "wait and see" is a valid option.

Best wishes


Hi! Thanks for your reply!

I saw my hand doctor today, and he just said... that he doesn't know what these bumps on my hands are. He said that they are NOT ganglion cysts, according to the placement on my palm (apparently, they don't usually form there), and it is extremely rare for 2 ganglion cysts to form simultaneously. He asked how my right hand is doing, and I said fine, even though I have some occasional pain in my ring finger on that hand which I attribute to a bad sprain I suffered in March.

In short, he just said to wait and see if it gets worse, I could get another MRI of the hand; he doesn't suspect it to be structural, so yeah.. Just reminded to tell me to stop being "hypervigilant"..

I wish I got more conclusive answers, but he is the type of doctor not to give me any ideas. I inferred that he thought of Dupuytren's the last time I saw him because when I mentioned my ring finger on my left hand contracting (I said "felt like it was getting pulled down") and he asked if I could bring it back up, which I could. But he never mentioned the disease.

I think I should see another doctor. Opinions?

07/16/13 03:16
bstenman 
07/16/13 03:16
bstenman 
Re: 22 year old female with ulnar nerve injury, now Dupuytren's??

From my own experience I have found general practitioners to be of little or no help and "hand surgeons" to be terrible at providing advice. Surgeons like to do surgery and seldom have an open mind or keep current with new procedures (many are still using a tourniquet during a faciectomy for example).

For Dupuytren's diagnosis you need an experienced practitioner who will palpate your hands to try to assess what is taking place under your skin. Even there most doctors have little or no "hands on" experience with patients with Dupuytren's and their opinion will be of no value whatsoever. They may tell you that there is a problem when there is not or tell you that there is no problem (take a couple Tylenol and call back next week) and that is worse.

There are a number of tissue disorders and one of them is Dupuytren's. But Dupuytren's tends to show itself in later years and more often with men than women so if you have it you are definitely an outlier and will be faced with more skepticism. It may take an MRI or similar scan to reveal the exact nature of the underlying tissue or a biopsy.

Irish and German means a high liklihood of "viking" ancestors in your bloodline. Dupytren's is least prevalent with people of eastern European descent where the Vikings were not visiting and allegedly raping and pillaging the locals.

The sooner you get an accurate diagnosis the more likely you will be able to get treated and hopefully arrest whatever is damaging your hands.

07/16/13 03:43
kelly 
07/16/13 03:43
kelly 
Re: 22 year old female with ulnar nerve injury, now Dupuytren's??

bstenman:
From my own experience I have found general practitioners to be of little or no help and "hand surgeons" to be terrible at providing advice. Surgeons like to do surgery and seldom have an open mind or keep current with new procedures (many are still using a tourniquet during a faciectomy for example).

For Dupuytren's diagnosis you need an experienced practitioner who will palpate your hands to try to assess what is taking place under your skin. Even there most doctors have little or no "hands on" experience with patients with Dupuytren's and their opinion will be of no value whatsoever. They may tell you that there is a problem when there is not or tell you that there is no problem (take a couple Tylenol and call back next week) and that is worse.

There are a number of tissue disorders and one of them is Dupuytren's. But Dupuytren's tends to show itself in later years and more often with men than women so if you have it you are definitely an outlier and will be faced with more skepticism. It may take an MRI or similar scan to reveal the exact nature of the underlying tissue or a biopsy.

Irish and German means a high liklihood of "viking" ancestors in your bloodline. Dupytren's is least prevalent with people of eastern European descent where the Vikings were not visiting and allegedly raping and pillaging the locals.

The sooner you get an accurate diagnosis the more likely you will be able to get treated and hopefully arrest whatever is damaging your hands.

Thank you so much for you insight! So, it's been over a month since I was last on this forum. My hand still looks the same, yet the pain and flare-ups of weird symptoms have subsided for the most part, which is fortunate.

Since, I'm somewhat in the process of losing my health insurance, and I cannot afford more MRI's at the current time, I unfortunately do not have the capabilities to learn exactly what is affecting my hand- at least for now.
Hopefully, this swelling will go down and the pain will mostly disappear in the meantime.

I guess all I can do is keep living life as normal as possible. haha

Thanks again :)

07/17/13 04:03
humana 
07/17/13 04:03
humana 
Re: 22 year old female with ulnar nerve injury, now Dupuytren's??

bstenman:
From my own experience I have found general practitioners to be of little or no help and "hand surgeons" to be terrible at providing advice. Surgeons like to do surgery and seldom have an open mind or keep current with new procedures (many are still using a tourniquet during a faciectomy for example).

For Dupuytren's diagnosis you need an experienced practitioner who will palpate your hands to try to assess what is taking place under your skin. Even there most doctors have little or no "hands on" experience with patients with Dupuytren's and their opinion will be of no value whatsoever. They may tell you that there is a problem when there is not or tell you that there is no problem (take a couple Tylenol and call back next week) and that is worse.

So true!! The hard part is getting in to see an experienced practitioner.

07/17/13 20:53
PatJohnston6384 
07/17/13 20:53
PatJohnston6384 
Re: 22 year old female with ulnar nerve injury, now Dupuytren's??

Even my rheumatologist didn't recognize DD. She did refer me to three different hand-specialist surgeons. The first told me it might be DD, but to come back in a couple of months to confirm it. The second told me it could be DD, but to come back when I needed surgery. The third told me I had non-Dupuytren's and to come back after one of my fingers had a 20% contraction.

Now, 7 months after my first nodules appeared in both my right and left hand, I have an obvious cord in the right palm and can feel a cord in the left palm under the skin.

I'm thinking of driving two hours to Scripps in San Diego to have Dr. T. check my hands. It seems its either that or drive six hours to San Francisco. Pat

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non-Dupuytren   experience   simultaneously   hand-specialist   spanishbuddha   practitioners   development   hypervigilant   experienced   practitioner   experiencing   rheumatologist   surgeons   diagnosis   inflammation   Dupuytren   specialised   unfortunately   self-diagnose   original