Dupuytren’s contracture

dupuytren's contracture images

Dupuytren’s (du-pwe-TRANZ) contracture is a hand deformity that typically establishes over years. The condition influences a layer of tissue that lies under the skin of your palm. Knots of tissue form under the skin– eventually producing a thick cord that can pull several fingers into a bent position.

The affected fingers can’t be straightened totally, which can make complex everyday activities such as putting your hands in your pockets, putting on gloves or shaking hands.

Dupuytren’s contracture primarily impacts the ring finger and pinky, and takes place frequently in older men of Northern European descent. A number of treatments are readily available to slow the development of Dupuytren’s contracture and alleviate symptoms.


Dupuytren’s contracture generally advances gradually, over years. The condition usually begins as a thickening of the skin on the palm of your hand. As it advances, the skin on your palm might appear puckered or dimpled. A firm swelling of tissue can form on your palm. This lump might be sensitive to the touch but normally isn’t really painful.

In later phases of Dupuytren’s contracture, cords of tissue kind under the skin on your palm and can extend up to your fingers. As these cords tighten up, your fingers might be pulled towards your palm, often badly.

The ring finger and pinky are most frequently impacted, though the middle finger also can be included. Only hardly ever are the thumb and forefinger influenced. Dupuytren’s contracture can occur in both hands, though one hand is generally influenced more significantly.

Causes of Dupuytren’s contracture

Medical professionals do not know what causes Dupuytren’s contracture. There’s no evidence that hand injuries or occupations that include vibrations to the hands cause the condition.

Risk factors

A number of aspects are believed to increase your risk of the disease, consisting of:

  • Age. Dupuytren’s contracture takes place most frequently after the age of 50.
  • Sex. Men are most likely to establish Dupuytren’s and to have more severe contractures than are women.
  • Ancestry. Individuals of Northern European descent are at greater risk of the disease.
  • Family history. Dupuytren’s contracture frequently runs in households.
  • Tobacco and alcohol usage. Cigarette smoking is associated with an increased risk of Dupuytren’s contracture, perhaps due to the fact that of microscopic modifications within capillary brought on by smoking cigarettes. Alcohol consumption also is associated with Dupuytren’s.
  • Diabetes. People with diabetes are reported to have an enhanced risk of Dupuytren’s contracture.


Dupuytren’s contracture can make it challenging to carry out particular functions using your hand. Considering that the thumb and forefinger aren’t usually affected, many people do not have much hassle or impairment with great motor activities such as writing. But as Dupuytren’s contracture advances, it can limit your ability to totally open your hand, grasp huge objects or to get your hand into slim places.

Tests and medical diagnosis

Most of the times, doctors can diagnose Dupuytren’s contracture by the look of your hands. Other tests are hardly ever necessary.

Your doctor will compare your hands to each other and check for tightening on the skin of your palms. He or she will likewise press on parts of your hands and fingers to look for strengthened knots or bands of tissue.

Your doctor likewise may inspect to see if you can put your hand flat on a tabletop or other flat surface. Not being able to fully flatten your fingers indicates you have Dupuytren’s contracture.

Dupuytren’s contracture treatments and drugs

If the disease advances slowly, causes no pain and has little influence on your capability to utilize your hands for daily jobs, you might not need treatment. Rather, you can wait and see if Dupuytren’s contracture progresses. You may wish to follow the progression with a tabletop test, which you can do on your own.

Treatment involves eliminating or breaking apart the cords that are pulling your fingers towards your palm. This can be performed in several ways. The choice of procedure depends upon the intensity of your symptoms and other health issue you may have.


This strategy uses a needle, inserted through your skin, to puncture and break the cord of tissue that’s contracting a finger. Contractures often recur however the procedure can be repeated.

The primary advantages of the needling method are that there is no cut, it can be done on numerous fingers at the very same time, and normally hardly any physical therapy is needed later. The main disadvantage is that it can’t be utilized in some locations in the finger due to the fact that it might harm a nerve or tendon.

Dupuytren’s contracture enzyme injections

Injecting a type of enzyme into the tight cord in your palm can soften and deteriorate it– allowing your doctor to later on control your hand in an attempt to break the cord and straighten your fingers. The benefits and disadvantages of the enzyme injection are similar to needling, but the enzyme injection can be more painful initially.


Another option for individuals with sophisticated disease, minimal function and progressing disease is to surgically eliminate the tissue in your palm impacted by the disease. The main advantage to surgery is that it results in a more total and longer-lasting release than that offered by the needle or enzyme techniques. The primary disadvantages are that physical therapy is typically needed after surgery, and recovery can take longer.

In some severe cases, especially if surgery has actually failed to fix the issue, specialists remove all the tissue most likely to be affected by Dupuytren’s contracture, consisting of the attached skin. In these cases a skin graft is needed to cover the open wound. This surgery is the most invasive choice and has the longest recovery time. Individuals usually require months of intensive physical therapy afterward.

Lifestyle and home treatments

If you have mild Dupuytren’s contracture, you can secure your hands by:

  • Preventing a tight grip on tools by building up the manages with pipeline insulation or cushion tape
  • Utilizing gloves with heavy padding during heavy comprehending tasks

Nevertheless, your condition might persist or aggravate, despite these preventative measures.

Last Update - September 23, 2017


The Author

Reyus Mammadli

As a healthy lifestyle advisor I try to guide individuals in becoming more aware of living well and healthy through a series of proactive and preventive measures, disease prevention steps, recovery after illness or medical procedures. Education: Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.

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