Dupuytren’s Contracture

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What is Dupuytren’s Contracture?

There are multiple layers of tissues in the hand. In a healthy hand, these tissues glide over each other seamlessly. In Dupuytren’s contracture, the connective tissue and sometimes the skin begin to thicken.

This condition commonly occurs in both hands and progression is relatively unpredictable, but often slow. The medical community does not know exactly why Dupuytren’s contracture happens.

Why does Dupuytren’s Contracture happen?

The cause of Dupuytren’s disease is still unknown. The disease occurs up to six times more often in men than women. Those from with European backgrounds experience the highest incidence of the disease. Tobacco and alcohol use also increase your risk as well as a history of diabetes.

What are common symptoms?

  • Bumps and/or pits in the palm. These growths are usually firm, move with the skin, and are not painful.
  • In advanced cases, a cord may develop from the palm and/or in the finger.
  • Fingers may begin to close inward, decreasing your ability to straighten them.

What are my treatment options?

A number of treatments are available to slow the disease’s progression and to relieve your symptoms. After a physical examination, your Summit orthopedic specialist will explain treatment options appropriate for your unique situation and formulate a plan tailored to your needs.

Your custom treatment plan may include:

  • Bracing
  • Xiaflex injections
  • Hand Therapy
  • Surgery

What are the benefits of surgical treatment?

Surgical treatment is generally not appropriate for minor cases unless especially painful, as it may cause the disease to worsen. In more advanced cases, surgery can be highly successful. Surgical treatment:

  • Relieves tension of contractures
  • Removes abnormal tissue from palm and fingers

What can I expect the results to be after treatment?

Although treatment can help relieve some symptoms, Dupuytren’s is a progressive disease that often recurs even after surgery. The good news is that many times the the disease progresses slowly, is only mildly painful, and has little to no impact on your ability to use your hands for everyday tasks. If this is your situation, you may not need treatment unless your symptoms progress.

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