Pioneering treatment for ‘claw hand’

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PEOPLE suffering from a condition which makes their hand claw-like are set to benefit from a new treatment.

The South Downs Cancer Centre, in the grounds of Spire Portsmouth Hospital, Havant, is one of four in the country to pioneer a procedure to cure Dupuytren’s disease, which causes the hand to stiffen and is sometimes known as ‘claw hand’.

Previously corrective surgery would be carried out once a hand became deformed.

But now radiotherapy is being used to tackle the problem when symptoms start showing.

Consultant Richard Shaffer has been developing the treatment. He said: ‘This is a quick and painless treatment which aims to stop the disease from getting worse.

‘The low dose of radiation is aimed towards the nodules and cords in the hand and softens them.’

Dupuytren’s disease can start as a small non-cancerous lump just under the skin of the palm of the hand, wrist or fingers. To find out more go to or call (023) 9248 4992.