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Dupuytrens’s Disease

Dupuytren’s (du-pwe-TRANZ) contracture is a hand deformity that usually develops slowly, over decades. Dupuytren’s contracture affects the connective tissue under the skin of your palm. Knots of tissue form under the skin — eventually forming a thick cord that can pull one or more of your fingers into a bent position.

Once this occurs, the fingers affected by Dupuytren’s contracture can’t be straightened completely, which can complicate everyday activities such as placing your hands in your pockets, putting on gloves or shaking hands.

Dupuytren’s contracture most commonly affects the ring finger and pinky, and occurs most often in older men of Northern European descent. A number of treatments are available to slow the progression of Dupuytren’s contracture and relieve symptoms.
Dupuytren’s contracture typically progresses slowly, over several years. Occasionally it can develop over weeks or months. In some people it progresses steadily, and in others it may start and stop.

Early symptoms:

Dupuytren’s contracture usually begins as a thickening of the skin on the palm of your hand. As Dupuytren’s contracture progresses, the skin on the palm of your hand may appear puckered or dimpled. A firm lump of tissue may form on your palm. This lump may be sensitive to the touch but usually isn’t painful.

Symptoms

As the symptoms slowly progress over time patients may notice the following symptoms:

  • Nodules One or more small, tender lumps (nodules) form in the palm. Over time, the tenderness usually goes away.
  • Bands of tissue. The nodules may thicken and contract, forming tough bands of tissue under the skin.
  • Curled fingers. One or more fingers bend (flex) toward the palm. The ring and little fingers are most commonly affected, but any or all fingers can be involved.

There is no way to stop or cure Dupuytren’s contracture. However, it is not dangerous. Dupuytren’s contracture usually progresses very slowly and may not become troublesome for years. It may never progress beyond lumps in the palm.

If the condition progresses, nonsurgical treatment may help to slow the disease. If these methods are not successful there are surgical options available. Please consult Dr. Saylor to see what the best treatment option is for you.