Dupuytrens Contracture

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Dupuytren’s Contracture is a hereditary thickening of the tough tissue, called fascia, that lies just below the skin of the palm. Small lumps or bands appear, which may eventually pull the fingers into the palm. Dupuytren's disease runs in families, but may also be associated with cigarette smoking, vascular disease, epilepsy and diabetes.

Symptoms of Dupuytren’s Contracture include:

  • One or both hands may be affected. The ring finger is affected most often, followed by the little, middle, and index fingers.
  • A small, painless nodule or lump develops in the tissue below the skin on the palm side of the hand. Over time, it thickens into a cord-like band.
  • It becomes difficult to extend or straighten the fingers. In severe cases, straightening them is impossible.

Treatment

The small nodules or lumps in the palm do not need treatment unless they become very large or interfere with hand function.

Surgery may be done to release the contracture. Normal movement of the fingers is usually restored by surgery followed by occupational therapy exercises for the hand.
A newer treatment involves injecting a substance called collagenase into the dupuytrens cord causing the contracture. Up to three injections may needed to achieve a favorable result. You may have side effects such as swelling, pain and itching. A more rare but severe side effect is rupture of the tendon.

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