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 (also known as Dupuytren’s disease), the connective tissue, and sometimes the skin, begins to thicken.
This condition commonly occurs in both hands and progression is relatively unpredictable, but often slow.
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 are more likely to develop Dupuytren’s contracture
- Tobacco and alcohol use increase the risk
- A history of diabetes increases the risk of developing the condition
What are common symptoms of Dupuytren’s contracture?
Common symptoms of Dupuytren’s contracture include:
- Bumps 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 to the finger
- Fingers may begin to close inward, decreasing your ability to straighten them
What are my treatment options for Dupuytren’s contracture?
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:
- Hand therapy
What are the benefits of surgical treatment for Dupuytren’s contracture?
Surgical treatment is generally not appropriate for minor cases—unless they are especially painful—since 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 the palm and fingers
What can I expect the results to be after treatment for Dupuytren’s contracture?
Although treatment can help relieve some symptoms, Dupuytren’s contracture is a progressive disease that often comes back even after surgery. The good news is that many times 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.
Summit Orthopedics provides personalized hand and wrist expertise
The function of our hands is integrated through our wrists and arms to our shoulders; a problem anywhere along our arm may have a significant impact on hand function and quality of life. If you experience an injury or uncomfortable symptoms, our fellowship-trained hand and wrist surgeons are here to help. Summit physicians receive the highest levels of training and exclusively provide individualized care for conditions of the hand, wrist, and elbow.
Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MN, Vadnais Heights, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as additional community clinics throughout the metro and southern Minnesota.
Ask the Expert: Hand Video Series
If the fingers of your hand begin to curl and you find that you can’t straighten them, you may have Dupuytren’s contracture. Although there is no cure for this condition, there are a number of treatments to slow the progression of the disease. We explain the causes and symptoms of this condition.