Needle aponeurotomy is a procedure used to straighten bent fingers caused by Dupuytren's (say "duh-pwee-TRAHNZ") disease.
This disease can change how your hand looks. You may find it hard or impossible to use one or more of your fingers.
The disease causes tissue under the skin of the palm of your hand to thicken and shorten. This can pull and bend the fingers in toward the palm. You may not be able to straighten them. This is called a contracture.
Your doctor will numb the affected area of your hand. He or she will then place a needle into the tissue that is bending your fingers. Your doctor will use the needle to put holes in the tissue. Then the doctor will straighten your fingers. This causes the tissue to separate and release your fingers.
The procedure causes little pain. But your fingers may be numb for a few hours after the procedure. You may notice tingling in the fingers for the next few days.
After the procedure, your doctor may inject corticosteroid medicine in your hand. This reduces swelling. You will have bandages put on your hand.
The procedure can be done in your doctor's office. It takes 20 to 30 minutes.
It will probably take about 1 to 2 weeks for your hand to heal. How soon you can go back to work depends on your job. If you can do your job without using your hand or with light use, such as working at a computer, you may be able to go back in 1 to 2 days. But if your job requires you to use a lot of hand strength, to grip things tightly, or to get your hands dirty, you may need to take about 1 to 3 weeks off work.
For the first few weeks after this procedure, you will probably need to wear a splint part of the time. You may need to do hand exercises to help reduce the swelling and stiffness.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Procedures can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your procedure.
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Current as of: September 20, 2018
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
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