Dupuytren’s Contracture

  • Introduction

  • Conservative Treatment

  • Surgical Treatment

The hand and wrist are collectively made up of twenty-seven bones and the hand alone contains three major peripheral nerves. Good hand health is critical for the basic normal activity required for everyday living. Although hand and wrist trauma is a common cause of hand dysfunction, many conditions are not caused by injury, but are genetically linked.

Dupuytren’s Contracture is one such example. Dupuytren’s disease is a genetically predisposed condition that is the result of thickening and tightening of the layer of fibrous tissues located beneath the skin of the palm. The thickening and tightening of the tissue can eventually cause the fingers to curl, forming a contracture. The process is typically slow and without pain but can keep the hand from being able to straighten completely. The most affected parts of the hand are most typically the ring and pinky fingers.

In addition to finger curling, lumps, nodule or pits can form inside the palm. These can sometimes become painful, due to sensitivity, but this usually diminishes over time. The hand can be affected in terms of function if the contracture progresses. This condition is typical seen in males more than females and is more commonly seen in individuals of Northern European descent such as Ireland, Scotland or England.

Oftentimes, when there is no functional deficits, surgical intervention is not recommended.  Most forms of non-operative treatment, such as splints, injections and therapy have not been shown to alter the natural progression of the disease process.  Therefore, observation is usually the standard when treating Dupuytren’s disease.  Over the past few years, a novel form of non-surgical treatment has become available for patients with functionally limiting contractures.  In certain cases, individuals may be able to undergo a special type of injection that can dissolve the scar tissue causing the contracture.  The finger can then be manipulated and straightened out.

Our Physicians whom specialize in conditions of the hand and upper extremity

Surgery is recommended in more severe cases and in cases where nonsurgical treatment measures have not been successful. The procedure entails the division or removal of the thickened bands which helps restore motion of the fingers. Various techniques are available, and the results are typically very good.

Our Physicians whom specialize in conditions of the hand and upper extremity

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