Dupuytrens’s Disease

Dupuytren’s Disease, also known as Dupuytren’s Contracture, is a hand condition that gradually causes the fingers to bend towards the palm, restricting their ability to straighten. This non-painful but progressive condition primarily affects the ring and little fingers and can impede hand function.

Causes and Risk Factors

The exact cause of Dupuytren’s is unknown, but it has a familial predisposition, indicating a genetic component. It predominantly affects individuals of Northern European descent and is more common in men than women, particularly those over the age of 50. Other risk factors include diabetes, smoking, alcohol use, and epilepsy.


Early symptoms may include thickening of the skin on the palm of the hand, which can develop into firm, tender nodules. As the disease progresses, these nodules can form tough, fibrous bands under the skin, leading to the characteristic finger contractures. The condition is not typically painful, but the finger deformities can significantly impair hand function.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is primarily clinical, based on the characteristic appearance of the hand. Treatment is usually reserved for cases where hand function is significantly affected. Options include needle aponeurotomy to break the fibrous bands, enzyme injections to dissolve the tissue, and, in more severe cases, surgical removal of the affected tissue.

Recovery and Management

Post-treatment, physical therapy is often recommended to maintain hand function and flexibility. While treatment can provide significant improvement, Dupuytren’s is a chronic condition and may recur over time.


There are no known preventive measures for Dupuytren’s Disease, but early intervention can slow progression and minimize its impact on hand function.

Dupuytren’s Disease can lead to significant functional impairment, but with appropriate intervention, many individuals maintain an active and productive lifestyle.