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Glossary of Terms

                Glossary of Terms    









Aponeurosis   Fascia  
Aponeurectomy   Fasciectomy  
Aponeurotomy   Fasciotomy  
Aponevrosis   Fascia (French spelling)
Aponevrotomy   Fasciotomy (French spelling)   
  A procedure performed without any cut in the skin, as in a joint manipulation.  
Closed   At the end of surgery, a wound can be "closed" by sewing the skin edges together or covering the area with a skin graft or skin flap.  
Dermofasciectomy   Removing fascia and the overlying affected skin. This requires closing the wound with a skin graft or flap.   
  Distal Interphalangeal Joint - the end joint of a finger  
Dorsal   Back side of the hand, opposite of the palmar side  
  Straightening a joint (opposite of flexion or bending).   
Extension   After surgery, Dupuytren's showing up adjacent to the area previously treated, technically different than recurrence.  
  A normal reinforcing layer of tissue, found in many areas of the body.In discussions of Dupuytren's, the fascia refers to the superficial palmar fascia, which is a clothlike layer of tissue beneath the skin of the palm, attached to the undersurface of the skin above it and the bones and muscle coverings below it. The fascia normally functions in a very similar manner to what is referred to in the garment industry as "interfacing": a layer of stiff cloth inside clothing which maintains the clothing's shape (interfacing and fascia share the same Latin root). The superficial palmar fascia normally acts as a scaffolding which anchors palm skin to the bones in the hand so the skin doesn't slide around while when we grip, hold, and twist things in our hands - it maintains the shape of the skin. The fascia is a normally unnoticeable layer, not a moving part, and not the tendons which we use to move our fingers. In Dupuytren's disease, it is the fascia which shrinks and thickens, pulling on the skin, pulling and bending the fingers. In the US, insurance companies use the term fascia, not aponeurosis.
Fasciectomy   Surgery to remove the fascia. Don't you need the fascia? Well, yes, but after fasciectomy, the body replaces what has been removed with a layer of scar tissue, which usually works well.  
Fasciotomy   Cutting but not removing the fascia. This refers to cutting across tight bands of fascia, letting the edges gape apart and heal back at or closer to their natural length to restore the area's original flexibility.  
Hematoma   After surgery, if much blood collects beneath the skin or beneath a skin graft, it may result in necrosis, or a wound where there should be skin. This slows recovery but is not the same thing or danger as a blood clot in the legs (DVT) after surgery.   
Longitudinal    Lengthwise, as for a line drawn along the length of a finger, base to tip.   
Necrosis    Dead skin. If the circulation isn't good enough to an area of skin, after a week or so, that area of skin will turn black and hard and eventually either fall off or need to be trimmed off. This can happen after surgery, usually at the edges of a cut, where it is referred to as marginal necrosis.  
  Surgically, open means regular surgery, where the skin is "opened" with a cut, as in fasciectomy. A wound which can be stitched back together. Not percutaneous.  
Open    After surgery, when the wound is literally left open, not stitched back together. Sounds gruesome, but it really isn't. This is what is done with the "open palm" surgical technique for Dupuytren's
Palmar   The palm side of the hand or fingers - not just "the palm". Opposite of the dorsal side.  
Percutaneous   A procedure performed through a small puncture wound, using a needle, narrow knife or scope, no stitches.  
PIP    Proximal Interphalangeal joint - the middle joint in a finger  
Recurrence   After surgery, Dupuytren's showing up in the area previously treated, technically different than extension.  
Suture   stitches  
Transverse   Side to side, usually refers to a sideways cut in the palm used for fasciectomy  



Last update 10.2.08 
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