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NA with Dr. Keith Denkler...so far so good....
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06/20/2010 14:34
tareva 
06/20/2010 14:34
tareva 
NA with Dr. Keith Denkler...so far so good....

I was first diagnosed with DC in my right hand (MCP) 4 years ago. There were nodules at the base of the pinky and ring fingers, with chords showing up and a couple of small pits. Things stayed pretty much the same for three and a half years, then it started to progress. The chords and nodules had grown and my pinky was now in the 10% range.

This spring my local hand surgeon (Yuba City, CA) was getting trained in the enzyme procedure, but since I was to be his first patient using that approach, and because it was so expensive, I decided to check out Dr. Denkler in the north bay area. I had read good reports in this forum about his work with NA, and called his office for more information. My first pleasant surprise was that he is open to emailing. What a shock! All my other doctors avoid it like some kind of plague and insist that their staff people never allow contact that way.

Due to his office being a 2 and a half hour drive away, in Larkspur, I took photos and sent them off in an email along with a description of my situation, asking him if he thought that I was a potential NA candidate. He answered back the next day that I was, so I bit the bullet and made an appointment for June 8th.

My wife and I stayed the night before at a nearby Best Western, then drove to his small, but very nice office in the foothills of the Coast Range. The staff was friendly and helpful, and Dr. Denkler wasn't afraid to pop into the waiting area every so often, unlike most doctors. He then took me back into an exam room and did a thorough job of examining my hands and giving me a complete rundown of the disease and what I could expect from the procedure; he said I was a good candidate and so we decided, together, to go back to the operating room and get started.

The bottom line is that the numbing injections hurt more than the NA itself. I winced a few times (being something of a wuss), but still it didn't hurt too much more than such injections by my dentist. My research prepared me for most of it, but I have to admit that I wasn't expecting to hear each one of the cuts being made. But no biggie; it went just fine and there were no complications. He bandaged my hand and gave me verbal (and printed) instructions about how to care for myself, the primary one being to keep it elevated above my heart for two days.

It only took about one hour. Afterwords, we walked across the street and enjoyed a great--left-handed--seafood lunch on the patio of the Yankee Pier...a recommended reward to give yourself, by the way, after doing a procedure like that.

It's now been almost two weeks and my hand is feeling much more normal. No complications. The nodules are already smaller and there is less pain than before. It feels so much better that I have to remind myself to not be grabbing things to vigorously, or banging it around in any way. I'm convinced that I did the right thing; not only was it 1/3 the cost of the enzyme procedure, but I got the benefit of the extensive experience of Dr. Denkler. So a big thanks to this forum and those who recommended Dr. Denkler--I heartily recommend him to anyone with DC.

(As a strange footnote, I might add that my middle finger started acting up in the few weeks prior to the procedure. I figured it was just the DC progressing into that finger, only to find out that no, it was "trigger finger" instead! I'd never heard of that before. But he explained all about what the difference is and said he would inject some cortisone in that area and that it should help, if not make it go completely away. It appears to be gone now. Got my fingers crossed.)

06/21/2010 21:16
smithbo 
06/21/2010 21:16
smithbo 
Re: NA with Dr. Keith Denkler...so far so good....

hello I am going through a tough time with my fingers right now with having the same disease as you are talking about. the doctors are telling me that they will have to remove my fingers as last resort. I have just researched the NA procedure today and never knew it existed. I hope it is not too late for me to save my fingers

06/21/2010 21:30
tareva 
06/21/2010 21:30
tareva 
Re: NA with Dr. Keith Denkler...so far so good....

smithbo...

Wow! That is distressing news to hear. I'm wishing you the best luck that that will not have to happen.

I have some questions & thoughts for you:

Have you got a second opinion yet?

Are you confident that the doctor who told you that is totally up to date with the treatment of DC?

I'm surprised that your doctor hasn't at least discussed all the options out there. You didn't give much information about yourself and your condition, history, etc., so it's hard to give you any advice. Do you live in the USA? California by any chance?

Good luck,

tareva

06/22/2010 05:21
LubaM. 
06/22/2010 05:21
LubaM. 
Re: NA with Dr. Keith Denkler...so far so good....

smithbo:
hello I am going through a tough time with my fingers right now with having the same disease as you are talking about. the doctors are telling me that they will have to remove my fingers as last resort. I have just researched the NA procedure today and never knew it existed. I hope it is not too late for me to save my fingers
Where do you live and what fingers are affected at which joint? what is the degree of contracture? read all you can on this forum and look at all the information on the menu on the left side. There are doctors that will respond to your email inquiries if you send them pictures of your fingers. Even at 90 degrees contracture NA can be successful. Come back with your questions on this forum and many will answer your questions.

Good luck to you.

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