Severity of contracture and self-reported disability in patients with Dupuytren's contracture referred for surgery

Christina Jerosch-Herold, Lee Shepstone, Adrian Chojnowski, Debbie Larson

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The purpose of the study was to explore the relationship between preoperative flexion contracture (FC) and self-reported disability in patients undergoing surgical release by fasciectomy or dermofasciectomy. The study design used was a prospective observational study: Dupuytren’s disease (DD) is a fibroproliferative disorder of the palmar fascia and may lead to functional deficits requiring surgical intervention. Outcomes are usually reported using digital range of motion although recent studies have also included patient-rated outcome measures with the extensively validated Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (DASH) Questionnaire commonly used. One hundred fifty-four patients consecutively enrolled in a prospective randomized trial were assessed before surgery for active range of movement using goniometry and self-reported functioning using DASH questionnaire. The small finger was affected in 69% of patients with a mean FC of 77.8 degrees (standard deviation = 43.5°). The mean DASH score was 16 points (range, 0–62). The correlation between severity of FC in all four fingers and DASH was weak (r = 0.264, p = 0.001). At individual digital level, the correlation between FC and DASH was weak in the index (r = 0.26), middle (r = 0.28), and ring (r = 0.21) fingers but almost absent in the small finger (r = 0.07). These results show that the relationship between severity of FC and functional disability measured by the DASH questionnaire appear to be very weak or even absent. Level of evidence: Level III prospective cohort study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-11
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Hand Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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