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Dupuytren's disease

Dupuytren's contracture

This disease takes its name from Baron Guillaume Dupuytren, a French surgeon who first described the condition in 1831

About

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

  • 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.

  • Screening and diagnosis 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, and without the use of a tight upper arm compressing device. Advanced cases may need more complex surgery under anaesthetic.
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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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