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In-office orthopaedic hand procedure improves quality of life

Shafic Sraj, MD, WVU Medicine orthopaedic hand surgeon, offers a simple, life-changing procedure for patients who suffer from Dupuytren’s contracture, a condition that pulls and holds fingers in a bent position.

Dupuytren’s contracture develops over time and is caused by diseased tissues of the palm and

Shafic Sraj, MD

fingers. Over time, the contracture develops into thick cords and pulls the fingers toward the palm. The little and ring fingers are the most commonly affected.

“This condition can severely affect the patient’s quality of life,” Dr. Sraj said. “Patients have a hard time grabbing things and putting on gloves because they are unable to fully open their hand. The bent fingers can get caught in tight spaces like purses or pockets.”

The cord can be released in less than a minute, usually during the very first visit, using the tip of a needle. The release allows the immediate improvement of motion, provides instant relief, and eliminates a trip to the operating room.

“Patients often neglect to treat this condition because they think it involves complicated surgery, which was the case historically,” Sraj said. “Nowadays, however, we are able to greatly improve the patient’s quality of life in a fast and minimally invasive way.”

To see a video about the procedure, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcQ0eGq0apA.

For more information on WVU Medicine, visit WVUMedicine.org.