Guitar Techniques - - Contents -

Read­ing the last is­sue about Peter re­cov­er­ing from a hand trauma (see Peter’s follow-up let­ter be­low: Ed), I thought I would add my ex­pe­ri­ence to the mix. As a gui­tar player I was up­set to find my fin­gers slowly con­tract­ing and be­com­ing quite fixed, and play­ing be­came harder. My fa­ther had suf­fered with this - it’s called Dupuytron’s Con­trac­ture. He had some fin­gers am­pu­tated as they started to get in the way. Well, my GP told me it was my time to suf­fer and booked me to see a spe­cial­ist and then an op to try and cor­rect it. I had the op but when the ban­dages came off I was so up­set with the pain and stiff­ness I de­cided to give up and sell my guitars.

Back and forth to physio did lit­tle to up my mood as the ex­er­cises were hard, bor­ing and I didn’t feel they worked. Then my wife bought me the gui­tar game Gui­tar Hero which was popular at the time, so, as I couldn’t play real gui­tar (there are those who say I still can’t) I threw my­self into the game. It was painful at first but gen­tle enough to keep the fin­gers work­ing out. With­out even re­al­is­ing it my hand re­cov­ered and now, ex­cept for the scars, my hand is good. Although I’m sure not for ev­ery­one, I think it beats squeez­ing a rub­ber ball. Take it slowly but don’t give up! Steve Tobin, Cardiff That’s weird, Steve. I have Dupuytren’s too, although as yet it hasn’t be­gun to con­tract. I’d never heard of it but ap­par­ently it’s sur­pris­ingly common. My brother-in-law has it and has had op­er­a­tions to both hands. It’s ter­ri­bly sad about your fa­ther, and that you now have it and felt so de­spon­dent you got rid of your guitars. But how in­spired of your wife to find Gui­tar Hero. I’m so glad you’ve busted through the bar­rier and are now back play­ing – I’m as­sum­ing also you’ve be­gun to re­place your in­stru­ments. Thanks for your en­cour­age­ment and, as you’ll read be­low, Peter is get­ting on fine too.

After the op­er­a­tion for Dupuytren’s Con­trac­ture

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