I first noticed a nodule in my hand many years ago and went to the GP, at this point I lived in Cornwall. The GP was pretty confident it was the start of Dupuytrens then promptly told me to come back when I couldn’t use it!
As the years went on and some research on the internet, which all seemed to agree that the time to get it checked out was when you couldn’t place your hand flat on the table.
Back I went to the doctors where once again was told it wasn’t bad enough for a referral on to the consultant.

hand with pinky and ringfinger bend into the palm
Before surgery, fingers contracted. Picture by Denise with permission

A couple more years passed and by this point both hands were now affected, 2 fingers on my left hand and 3 fingers on my right with some pretty ugly protruding cords, my fingers were pulling down towards my palm and everyday life was being affected.
I could no longer use a normal computer mouse for work so had to find something more suitable. I was struggling to put on a pair of latex gloves, I work for the NHS so gloves are an essential tool especially with Covid.
My family and friends were urging me to go back to the GP and insist on a referral to the consultant but I wanted to hold off till covid was well under control.
It got to the stage just over a year ago where gloves were nearly impossible and driving was a little tricky, alongside other everyday tasks like opening jars, picking things up that I couldn’t get my hands around.
Now was the time I was sure something would be done……..
I contacted my GP to request an appointment, I then received a phone call from the GPs receptionist to say they had refused to refer me on as it was an ongoing problem??? I couldn’t believe the GP wasn’t even going to look at it himself.
I was now pretty worried, was I even going to be able to continue to work, I was 56 at this point and not in a position not to work.
Unexpectedly we made the decision to sell the house and move back to my home town of Skipton in North Yorkshire, this is when things changed.
I was able to get a new job in the NHS very close to Skipton and my new employers were extremely supportive of the difficulties I had with dupuytrens.
I registered with a new GP and during a first appointment for something entirely different I mentioned my hands…..
Well this was a very different story, he seemed quite shocked at the state of my hands and asked why I had left it so long to seek help……..
He referred me immediately to a consultant who specialises in hands.
I saw the consultant a month later march 22 where she explained I had quite an aggressive form of the disease which now left surgery the only option for both hands.
I had surgery 3rd Nov 22 on my right hand which was the worst affected, 2 fingers completely into palm with skin now melding at the joints.
I am happy to say on the road to recovery with a fantastic health care team and supportive work colleagues.
I am also on the waiting list for my left hand to be done, I am aware it is likely to reoccur but am now confident it will be monitored and won’t be left until I cannot use it.

I have attached some pictures of my surgery which were a shock when I first saw them, not sure what I expected but on the mend now.