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Machines to Stretch Dupuytren’s Cords

There is not yet a perfect solution for PIP contractures from Dupuytren’s Disease, or for PIP contractures in general. One approach has been to use temporary skeletal fixation devices to slowly lengthen Dupuytren’s cords and scar tissue. The collagen bundles in Dupuytren’s cords don’t actually stretch: they remodel, disconnecting crosslinks between adjacent strands, sliding adjacent strands relative to each other and then forming new crosslinks. On a microscopic level, this is architecturally the opposite of the process by which Dupuytren’s cords shorten. This brief review summarizes the experience of several groups in developing such devices along the road to designing the Digit Widget.