Dupuytren’s contracture is a condition in which fingers turn or bend towards the palm of the hand and do not straighten completely. In this painless condition, one or more fingers bend towards the palm.
Description of the Dupuytren’s Contracture
The fibrous layer of tissue that lies underneath the skin in the palm and fingers is known as fascia. It helps in anchoring and stabilizing the skin on the palm. Knots of tissues develop under the skin of the palm (fascia) near the fingers. In people with Dupuytren’s disease, the knots gradually become thick and develop into a thick cord – which eventually pulls fingers toward the palm of the hand.
What does it look like when you develop this condition?
Dupuytren contracture can occur in one or both hands. It develops gradually and becomes severe over years. Initially, the lump looks a little tender and firm but doesn’t cause any pain. The lump gradually becomes hard and extends up into the fingers. When it becomes tight, it pulls the fingers toward the palm – severely deforming the fingers.
What is the cause of Dupuytren contracture?
The cause of this condition is completely unknown. But genes ( family history) could play an important role.
What happens if you develop this condition?
The condition most commonly affects the ring finger and the little finger.
A person who develops this condition finds it difficult to perform day-to-day tasks such as knotting shoe laces, putting on gloves, placing hands in their pockets, or shaking hands.
Are there any risk factors for this condition?
The risk factors for Dupuytren contracture include the following:
Family history: The condition runs in families.
Age: It is most common after the age of 50 or above.
Diabetes: The risk increases if a person has diabetes.
Gender: males are prone to this condition and the symptoms may become progressively worse over time.
Occupation: People in certain occupations that involve extensive use of vibrating tools are at increased risk of developing this condition.
Orthopedic Doctor’s Examination
The doctor carefully examines the fingers and asks a few questions about the patient’s symptoms, medical history, and overall health. The doctor may examine and record the nodules and cord on the palm and test the feeling in the fingers. He also measures the range of motion of the fingers and thumb.
Orthopedic doctors provide both surgical and nonsurgical treatments to help slow the progression of the condition, straighten the affected fingers and improve the motion of the fingers. Non-surgical treatment involves the use of steroid injections and splinting. If the contracture hinders the movement and function of the fingers, your doctor may recommend surgery. The goal of the surgery would be to straighten the affected fingers and improve the mobility of finger joints. Many patients show improvement in the movement of their fingers after surgery. If you think you have developed this condition, then meet Dr. Praharsha Mulpur.