Dupuytren's disease

Also know as dupuytren's contracture or palmar fibromatosis, this disease takes its name from Baron Guillaume Dupuytren, a French surgeon who first described the condition in 1831.

Enquiries & Appointments

Hand and wrist review

What is Dupuytren's disease?

Dupuytren’s disease is a common, painless and benign condition affecting the hands and fingers. The disease causes a progressive deformity resulting in one or more fingers bending into the palm of the hand. It occurs when there is a build-up of thick fibrous tissue in the palm that radiates into the fingers.

Need to know

The first symptom you'll notice is usually the growth of nodules (small lumps of tissue) on your hand. Other symptoms include:

  • unusual dimples on your palm
  • a thickening of the skin on your palm
  • tenderness around your palm

In rare cases, the condition can also affect the toes and soles of your feet.

If your finger is curling into your palm, your consultant will measure the amount of deformity to determine the severity of the condition. Treatment may be advised based on the amount or site of the contracture. In mild cases, diagnosis may be all that is needed as there is little or no disability.

No treatment may be recommended since there is a chance the condition won't get any worse. If the condition is more moderate, your consultant may recommend a minor procedure under local anaesthetic. In the most advanced cases, surgery may be recommended.

  • Enzyme injections. This involves giving an injection into the cord. Over the next day or two the enzyme dissolves the cord so that the finger can be manipulated straight under local anaesthetic.
  • Surgery. Some forms of surgery can be performed by your consultant under local anaesthetic, meaning you will be awake. Advanced cases may need more complex surgery under general anaesthetic.

In severe cases, open fasciotomy, or fasciectomy, is recommended.

Our locations

Institute of Sport Exercise and Health (ISEH)

170 Tottenham Court Road W1T 7HA London
The Harley Street Clinic

The Harley Street Clinic

35 Weymouth Street W1G 8BJ London
The Portland Hospital

The Portland Hospital

205-209 Great Portland Street W1W 5AH London

Patient stories

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.