Paul Newman, Frank Sinatra, Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, David Gower, Graham Gooch, Bill Nighy, and even the author J.M. Barrie have all suffered from the condition over the years.
It is rumoured that J.M. Barrie, author of the legendary Peter Pan, used his own experiences from his Dupuytren’s Disease to create the character Captain Hook, whereas veteran British actor Bill Nighy claims to be proud of his Dupuytren’s, on the basis that it means he has Viking blood and it links him to Frank Sinatra. Both Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan suffered from Dupuytren’s Contracture; Ronald Reagan even gave his final speech as President of the United States wearing a bandage on his hand after recent surgery.
In most of the celebrity cases above, the condition was passed on genetically rather than by the repeated or prolonged use of vibrating equipment and machinery, but no matter what the cause of the condition, the effects are very similar. Dupuytren’s Contracture, while in many cases is not painful, can still be debilitating on the basis that it restricts manual dexterity and can compromise some quality of life as a result.
The condition occurs when nodules and then cords grow on the tendons within the hand, causing them to contract and pull the ring and / or little finger in toward the palm of the hand. There are a variety of ways to treat the condition, depending on the severity of the impairment and the extent of the contracture. In the first instance Radiotherapy or injection of Collagen can help break down the cords, freeing up the hand. In more severe cases there is a range of surgical options including a Needle or Open Fasciotomy, or if the condition is really advanced then a Fasciectomy might be suggested. No matter how far your condition has developed, you should visit your doctor to find the best ways to treat it.
If you have no family members who suffer from the condition, and particularly if you have spent time in your working life using vibrating machinery or equipment for prolonged periods of time, you should contact one of our solicitors. Employers have a duty of care to prevent avoidable injuries in the workplace and that includes putting in safety procedures and methods when using vibrating equipment. If your employer failed to protect you from vibration, you could well be entitled to make a claim for compensation. Contact us today, free of charge, and let us see how we can help you get the pay out you deserve.