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post-surgical problems
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worried_daughter

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worried_daughter

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post-surgical problems

Hello,

My father has Dupuytren's in his right hand, and had surgery way back in August because he couldn't straighten his fourth finger at all. After the surgery, his hand swelled and he had pain. His physiotherapist gave him a special glove and told him to do various exercises. He was also given some pain pills. Doctors said the swelling would go away within a few weeks.

Well it's been seven months. His swelling has not improved. He says his hand swells up painfully pretty much every day. His hand also looks kinda purplish, darker than his other hand. The doctors aren't saying much. "It will gradually disappear over time", they say. But they admit they don't know why it's still swelling up like this. They're not recommending doing much of anything, just to wait and see.

Unfortunately, my father isn't very involved in his own recovery. He pretty much does what the doctor says (75% of the time), but isn't insisting that they do tests and figure out what's wrong. He doesn't want to talk about it and when I ask him what the doctor said, he says he "can't remember". He just doesn't want to think about it.

I'm worried. Why is his hand still swollen and discolored seven months after his surgery? What's going on?

Thank you for your help.

Mike K

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Mike K

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Persistent swelling

Your father may be suffering from Reflex sympathetic dystrophy. It is the bane of surgeons operating on DD.

I suggest you read the following link, and if you feel you father fits these symptoms, confront his doctors with this possibility, or seek another opinion from a different surgeon.

http://www.emedicine.com/orthoped/topic280.htm

Best,

Mike

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