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The Rationale for Treating the Nodule in Dupuytren's Disease.

BACKGROUND: Dupuytren's disease encompasses a spectrum of fibroblastic disorders from the presence of 1-2 nodules in the palm of a hand with no joint contracture to grotesque, crippling and disabling deformities of hands. Over the last 50 years, many enlightening studies have been forthcoming, which, through techniques of histopathology, biochemistry, tissue culture, and electron microscopy, have shed pearls of light on various aspects of the disease process.

METHODS: A comprehensive review of the literature on Dupuytren's disease was undertaken, stringing together results from numerous studies to establish a table of events and their location in the development of the disease.

RESULTS: What will be seen is a credible scenario of events which will enable the clinician to be more proactive in the earlier treatment of the disease and more aware of factors that increase or decrease recurrence rates postoperatively.

CONCLUSIONS: The most effective management of Dupuytren's disease is early recognition and treatment of the nodule, before the development of a joint contracture, particularly of a proximal interphalangeal joint. As there is evidence of a significant inflammatory role in the development of the nodule, the process of fibroplasia can be minimized by altering the macrophage > fibroblast > collagen cascade by the intralesional injection of a potent anti-inflammatory agent such as triamcinolone, which also blocks tissue inhibitors of collagenase, thus enhancing the action of native collagenase, and reduces the size and firmness of nodules and, at least temporarily, arrests their progression.

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