Hand reconstruction in leprosy
Leprosy, or Hansen disease, a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae , affects an estimated 700 000 persons each year. Clinically, leprosy can be categorized as a paucibacillary or multibacillary disease. The immunologic status of the patient, as evidenced by the degree of resistance to the organism, appears to determine the type of disease that develops. Leprosy is important largely because of the deformities, disabilities, and handicap it causes in a proportion of those affected by the disease. There are surgical procedures and techniques to correct or limit the deterioration of these conditions. In the past these surgical procedures were only performed in special institutions for treating leprosy and their complications. However, with the widespread use of multidrug therapy (chlofazymine, rifampicin, and dapsone; PCT) and the consequent reduction in the prevalence of leprosy, there is progressive integration of the care of people affected by leprosy into the general health services.