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22y old patient
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10/19/02 02:20
Gary Evans

not registered

10/19/02 02:20
Gary Evans

not registered

22y old patient

I will let others answer the questions. Be careful about who he sees to do the surgery. I know from my Army experience, that he may not see the person he needs to see for this. He needs to see an experienced hand surgeon who does Dupuytren's on a regular basis. We have heard from military people around the world who have had surgery by surgeons who weren't qualified for Dupuytren's.
How long has he had Dupuytren's? When did the contraction start? How many fingers are involved?
I had no pain with my DC for 6 years prior to surgery. Some people, especially those with nodules, do talk about pain. Dc can be so different for different people.
Good luck,
Gary

10/20/02 02:32
Gary Evans

not registered

10/20/02 02:32
Gary Evans

not registered

22 y old patient

Laz,
You are aware that your son was affected at an abnormally young age.

I had a very successful surgery in Portland, OR.on January 14, 2002. My little finger(left hand) was at 90 degrees. My contraction happened within a years time after having the "dermal pits" for six or seven years. I didn't know what the "dermal pits" were for several years. I thought they were some type of a callus or hand wart. By the time I realized I needed to have something done it was too late for anything except surgery. I was apprehensive, but had no choice. The surgery was a pleasant surprise. There was never any pain. I took three advil the night of the operation and then two every 4 hours for a couple of days. I was driving after three days and golfing in about 65 days. The golfing is significant because all of the pressure in the swing was on the operated area.

My hand was 100% normal in 6 months. You can't tell that I had surgery unless you look closely within 18 inches. I would do it again without question if my finger was at 90 degrees. If it were 40 or 50 degrees, I would consider NA. NA is only offered in Europe and 1) the U.S. Army will not send your son there, and 2) his hand is too far along for NA (probably)and, 3) I doubt that the U.S. Army would accept NA as a viable procedure.

The surgeon I had was highly recommended to me. He does DC on a regular basis. He has a micro surgery degree from Duke Univ. and has been doing just hands for about 15 years. I would not hesitate to call him again.

I (my opinion) think that surgery will be your only option. What was your son told? Don't wait much longer, the surgery becomes progressively more difficult past 90 degrees. Unfortunately, the earlier a person contacts DC, the greater chance of recurrence. According to most studies, there is a 50-60% chance of recurrence at 10 years after surgery. Like all surgeries, some don't turn out as well as one would like. DC is an unpredictable disease.
Good luck, don't hesitate to ask questions. Perhaps you will get feedback from others, also.
Gary

10/21/02 02:11
Eddie 
10/21/02 02:11
Eddie 
22 yr old patient

Laz, I wish I (or anyone else) could give you a clear answer.
Obviously you have been searching for information on DC yourself, and you probably realised that the more you read, the more confusing it gets.
Nobody here, or anywhere else, can tell you exactly what the best solution is for your son. You already know of course there is no cure, only some ways to treat the symptoms. So, just my opinion :
I would try to take the least action possible :
1. do nothing, wait and hope for the outcome of the biospecifics injection product ( 2 or 3 years ?? ). The risk is of course that the fingers might get more contracted, and surgery gets more difficult or even impossible (meaning finger amputation).
2. take some pictures of the hands and mail them to one or some of those NA docs in Europe for evaluation. Depending on the response, consider getting your son to Europe. The cost ? I can not give a much comment on that, but consider the 'options'. Even if NA wouldn't get good results, you still would have the option of surgery afterwards (btw, travelling to Europe is much cheaper in winter time).
3. surgery : like Gary says, get a good hand surgeon. But, even the best surgeon in the world cannot guarantuee the outcome. The surgery might be technically perfect, but no one can tell the possible reactions of the rest of the hand.


Pain : most of the medical world says DC is not painful, but it is clear they don't have DC themselves ! Lots of patients do have pain in various degrees (before and/or after surgery).

Support group : I live in Belgium, am in a 'support group' of about 300 members (DC, Ledderhouse, Peyronie's). We have about 3 or 4 meetings / talk sessions a year, with lectures on surgery, NA, acupuncture, post-op treatment etc. Taking part in such a group might get you some moral support, and a slightly better understanding of DC, but don't expect a solution, because there isn't any (yet).

Sorry I can't be of more help.




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