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April 14, 1962

The Dupuytren Contracture Controversy: A Presentation of the Facts

Author Affiliations


From the Hand Service, Boston City Hospital and the Department of Surgery, Tufts University School of Medicine. Associate Visiting Surgeon, First (Tufts) Surgical Service.

JAMA. 1962;180(2):140-143. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050150046009

Radical fasciectomy has been regarded as the only suitable treatment for the Dupuytren contracture. Recent interest in limited fasciectomy and subcutaneous fasciotomy has given rise to a controversy in the treatment of this disease. The proponents of radical fasciectomy feel that it is the only means of curing an established contracture. Those who oppose this procedure point to the higher postoperative morbidity of the radical procedure and the longer duration of disability from operation to employment. Limited fasciectomy and subcutaneous fasciotomy possess the handicap of a higher recurrence rate; the latter procedure bears with it a risk of accidental division of tendons, vessels, and nerves. Since there is disagreement as to the relative merits of radical versus the limited procedure, it is important to determine the most suitable indications for each.