DUPUYTREN’S DISEASE Martyn’s Story
MY EXPERIENCE – INJECTION TREATMENT
13 MARCH 2015 – Private consultation at St Josephs Hospital, Newport.
Confirmed Dupuytren’s – Right hand, ring finger.
26 MARCH 2015 – Injection treatment carried out on day one.
27 MARCH 2015 – Finger manipulation carried out on day two.
COST – £1,390.00
RESULT – Whilst there was discomfort when the finger was manipulated (two very loud cracks) followed by substantial swelling and bruising in the hand, the operation appeared to be successful: from a 30 degree angle to a 5 degree angle.
However, progressively during the next five months the finger returned to a 30 degree angle and what is now assumed to be arthritis was evident in the finger joint with the loss of some movement. There was no evidence of arthritis prior to the operation and none evident in other fingers.
COMMENT – Whilst it is appreciated that the condition may re-occur in say five years it was never anticipated that the condition would re-occur to the same point within five months.
To date there has been no explanation.
MY EXPERIENCE – SURGERY
24 AUGUST 2015 – NHS consultation With the same surgeon- Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport.
Confirmed Dupuytrens had returned to the right hand, ring finger.
02 SEPTEMBER 2015 – Tests (pre op) carried out at Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr Hospital, Nr Caerphilly, South Wales.
18 SEPTEMBER 2015 – Similar to the above.
13 OCTOBER 2015 – Operation carried out under local anaesthetic at St Woolas Hospital, Newport.
IMMEDIATE DISCOMFORT – There was immediate discomfort and pain during the days immediately after the operation. Some relief was felt by temporarily removing the bandages to alleviate the pressure as a result of the finger being extremely swollen. It was also evident that the wound was bleeding/weeping. There was swelling either side of the wound and the start of the formation of blistering.
21/23 OCT 2015 – Visited the local nurse/doctor at Underwood Surgery, Newport due to extreme pain. It was advised that the wound was infected and a course of antibiotics was prescribed along with very strong painkillers – Tramadol.
26 OCT 2015 – Saw the surgeon at the Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport.
The entire finger can only be described as a ‘horror show’. Two of the three largest blisters had ‘flattened’ to leave patches of dead skin, which the surgeon removed, along with the stitches. Areas of the wound were still bleeding/weeping and the finger, and in particular the finger joint, was extremely swollen. The finger was completely numb as it has been since the operation.
The finger and hand was re-dressed.
02 NOVEMBER 2015 – Similar to the above.
The remainder of the dead skin was removed and the wound cleaned.
There was further swelling to the finger joint and the finger was still numb.
GENERAL – Two visits to the physiotherapist have been made.
However, the exercises prescribed have been limited in their scope owing to the soreness of the wound which would bleed after each exercise and only has the effect of preventing healing.
UPDATE – 03 JANUARY 2016
2016 – A New Year : 2015 – A Year to forget
To date none of the treatments have addressed the following:
1. NERVE DAMAGE: Rather like putting the finger into an electric socket when touched. The ‘Pregabalin’ tablets have reduced the discomfort by approximately 30% similar to the ‘Tramadol’ and ‘Amitriptyine’ tablets. However, taking drugs to dull the senses is not the answer. Scrabble and Sudoku are off the menu. The nerve damage is having a profound and depressing effect on my quality of life. The hand has become very weak after almost three months of restricted activity. This problem cannot be allowed to continue and a solution must be found, and quickly.
2. SWOLLEN KNUCKLE: The finger remains very swollen at the knuckle. This is preventing the finger from straightening despite religiously adopting the physiotherapy programme prescribed by Tom. The M.Gel T.D. Caps (stretch bandage) do reduce the swelling when applied to the finger. However, the caps cause blistering, sorensss and bleeding to the wound if applied for more than say 8 hours and the swelling returns within half an hour once removed.
The finger rests at an angle of 30⁰ and there is less than a 50% movement in the clenched fist position.
3. STABBING PAINS : NETTLE RASH: Periodic stabbing pains remain unabated. Small blisters similar to a nettle rash also appear periodically on the finger which weep when touched/rubbed.
4. PHYSIOTHERAPY: A combination of the prescribed physiotherapy and the M.Gel T.D.Caps have continued to cause blistering and currently 30% of the wound is open and very sore. I have not made a further appointment with Tom.
It would appear the ongoing consequences of the Dupuytrens’ operation on the 13 October 2015, and in particular the infection, have not been fully understood. I would challenge the view that the ongoing problems will simply ‘come good’ in the fullness of time, especially after almost three months without any signs of lasting improvement. The ‘one size fits all’ physiotherapy treatments have major adverse effects on the wound and have prevented healing with consequential bleeding and discomfort over a protracted period. The obsession with achieving a straight finger has been to the general detriment of other more serious conditions.