This condition is more common in:
- People over 40 years of age
Factors that may increase your chances of getting Dupuytren contracture include:
- A parent with Dupuytren contracture
- Hand trauma
- Manual labor
- Vibration exposure at work
- Alcohol use disorder
- Use of certain anticonvulsant medications for epilepsy
- Liver disease
Dupuytren contracture can happen on either one or both hands. The first sign is a nodule (bump) in the palm near the bottom of a finger. It may be sensitive to touch. However, this condition is often not painful.
The bump then becomes a thickened cord. As the cord thickens, it shortens and pulls on the fingers. This curls the affected finger toward the palm. At first, the curling of the fingers are mild. It may worsen over time. How fast it worsens can differ from person to person.
The ring finger is usually affected first. The pinky finger is often second. The index, and long finger may follow. Movement in the fingers will become more difficult over time.
Treatment will help you regain use of your fingers. You may not need treatment yet if you still have normal use of your hand. Once it has progressed treatment options include:
Surgery is most effective in the early stages. Surgery may involve:
- Making small incisions in the thickened tissue
- Removing diseased tissue
- Removing diseased tissue and overlying damaged skin
- Skin grafts may be needed for gaps
- Percutaneous needle fasciotomy—can release tissue without large incisions
All surgeries have some risk of bleeding and infection. Dupuytren contracture can also come back after surgery.
Exercise Therapy After Surgery
Exercise therapy may be needed. It can help to restore full range of motion after a repair.
Medication may be injected into the area. Options include:
- Corticosteroids—during early stages may
- Slow the worsening of the condition
- Ease any tenderness
- Collagenase clostridium histolyticum—breaks down the thickened tissue in the hand
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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American Society for Surgery of the Hand http://www.assh.org
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians http://familydoctor.org
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety http://www.ccohs.ca
Health Canada https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada.html
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