Dupuytren’s Contracture

By Julia Guthart, OTR/L CHT

Dupuytren’s Contracture Overview 

Dupuytrens contracture is an orthopedic condition seen by an MD.

Hands of an man with Dupuytren contracture disease.

Dupuytren’s disease is an active cellular process in the fascia of the hand, causing one or more fingers to be forced into a bent position. Because of this, some ADL’s (activities of daily life) such as putting on a glove or shaking someones may be more difficult. This condition usually develops very slowly over a period of years. The very beginning stages usually present a thickening of the skin on the palm. As the condition progresses, the skin may appear puckered and may become sensitive. In later stages, the thickening of the skin will progress from the palm up to the hand, forcing the fingers to contract.

Symptoms of Dupuytren’s Contracture

Symptoms usually occur very gradually. The condition often presents as a nodule or painless lump in the palm in the beginning stages. As the condition progresses, the skin may appear puckered and may become sensitive. In later stages, the thickening of the skin will progress from the palm up to the hand, forcing the fingers to contract. If you think you have this position, you should seek out a medical evaluation. For more information on Dupuytrens Contracture, please click here

Causes & Risk Factors

While there are no answers as to what causes this condition, some factors may cause you to be more at risk. These include the following:

  • Age: This condition most commonly affects those over the age of 50.
  • Gender: Men are more likely to develop this and to have more severe contractures than are women.
  • Genetics: If your ancestors had this condition, you are more likely to get it.
  • Tobacco and alcohol use: Both smoking and excessive alcohol use increase the risk of contracting Dupuytren’s. 
  • Diabetes: People with diabetes are reported to have an increased risk of Dupuytren’s contracture.

Dupuytren’s Contracture Treatment

A doctor can usually diagnose dupuytren’s contractures by simply seeing the look and feel of the affected hand. If the disease progresses slowly and has low impact on the individual’s daily life, treatment may not be necessary. If the condition progresses to the point of pain or inability to perform simple activities, surgery may be an option. Your surgeon will break apart the tight cords forcing your fingers to contract.

JOI has Physicians that Treat Dupuytren’s Contractures of the Hand

Whether you are suffering from hand issues, joint pain, or injuries resulting from any type of activity, JOI has physicians ready to help. 

If you are interested in scheduling an appointment with a Orthopedic Hand Specialist, please call JOI-2000 or click the banner below.

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