Graham, 67, had suffered from the condition, that causes one or more fingers to bend into the palm of the hand, for around two years but put up with it until it was impossible to open his hand wide enough to hold a glass.
He thought about having the operation on the NHS but when the waiting time exceeded 18 weeks, Graham decided to be treated privately so he could choose a date that suited him.
Graham, who spends six months of the year living in France, said: “I didn’t want my life to be on hold and preferred to pay and have control.”
Graham, who worked as Stores Manager at The McIndoe Centre before he retired, underwent the operation as a day patient of consultant surgeon Asit Khandwala.
In order for the hand to heal, he couldn’t drive for two weeks but then had physiotherapy to help recovery. Graham said: “I now, near enough, have a flat hand but it will take about a year to be completely back to normal. I had the best treatment possible.”
“The service was brilliant and I couldn’t fault it. I think what makes The McIndoe Centre different is that it isn’t a huge organisation so it has a family feel to it. I would recommend it to anyone.”
Commonly known as ‘the Viking disease’ because it is believed to have been spread in the UK by marauding Vikings, the condition usually begins as a thickening of the skin on the palm of the hand.
As it progresses, the skin on the palm can appear dimpled and firm lumps which can be sensitive to the touch can form. In later stages, cords of tissue form under the skin on the palm and can extend up the fingers. As these cords tighten, fingers can be pulled toward the palm, sometimes severely and in so doing create a claw like appearance.
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