Treatment for Dupuytren's Contracture

Edited: July 19, 2017, 9:44 PM · I have been diagnosed with early stage Dupuytren's Contracture, so far with just a few small nodes/ganglions on the tendons in my left hand. My playing is not yet affected but I'm worried that I will not be able to enjoy playing the violin as the condition progresses.

I'm 56 years old, and have been playing for 50 years. My playing is the best it's ever been and I'm enjoying it so much that I've recently saved thousands of dollars to buy a good instrument.

This news has come as a real blow, particularly as I've already had to come to terms with how hearing loss has affected my enjoyment of music, particularly choral singing.

I'm hoping that someone will have some experience of treatment, particularly whether early surgical intervention might help me to keep playing longer, rather than waiting until my fingers are severely curled before any corrective treatment, which is the usual medical advice. I understand that people are wary of giving medical advice, but I'd appreciate any anecdotal descriptions of violinist's experience with this.

Replies (1)

July 18, 2017, 10:52 AM · Scott, I’m sorry to hear that you have Dupuytren’s Disease (DD). I was first diagnosed at the age of 50 and have had it for 16 years. Don’t despair. There is no cure, but there are many things you can do to make sure you continue to play violin well into old age.

Although DD is common, especially in older men of northern European descent, few doctors know much about it or are aware of modern treatments. It’s very important that you educate yourself and find a hand surgeon that specializes in modern DD treatments, including radiation therapy. Don’t wait on this. Radiation therapy only works at early stages and it works well.

I highly recommend you join the Dupuytren’s Disease Support Group in Facebook. You’ll find no better source of information and support. It has a list of the best doctors for treatment.

Take care.

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