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Dupuytren's disease

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

About 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

  • What are the symptoms of Dupuytren's disease? icon plus

    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.

  • How is Dupuytren's disease diagnosed? icon plus

    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.
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    • 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. Here, a surgical blade is used to cut the cord in several places, to ensure finger release. The procedure can range from simply cutting the fibrous band of tissue in your hand to removing all of the affected skin and replacing it with skin grafts. Your consultant will recommend the best option for you.

    Depending on the approach taken, your surgery will be done under either general anaesthetic or local anaesthetic, to block pain in the area during the procedure."

     
Consultant in theatres

Our hand and wrist consultants

We're proud to work with leading orthopaedic experts who specialise in problems of the hand and wrist, and sports related injuries.

Our locations

From complex hand and wrist surgery to diagnostic tests and procedures, we provide exceptional orthopaedic care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Request a hand and wrist appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced hand and wrist consultants. We can also make imaging and outpatient hand therapist appointments for you.

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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