Pronounced: du-pwe-trahn kon-trak-choor
by Rick Alan
Dupuytren contracture is a thickening of tissue in the palm of the hand. It causes one or more fingers to be curled in toward the palm. The contracture can make it difficult or impossible to straighten these fingers.
The exact cause is not known. Some may inherit the trait from a parent.
This condition is more common in:
Factors that may increase your chances of getting Dupuytren contracture include:
Dupuytren contracture can happen on either one or both hands. The first sign is a nodule (bump) in the palm near the bottom of a finger. It may be sensitive to touch. However, this condition is often not painful.
The bump then becomes a thickened cord. As the cord thickens, it shortens and pulls on the fingers. This curls the affected finger toward the palm. At first, the curling of the fingers are mild. It may worsen over time. How fast it worsens can differ from person to person.
The ring finger is usually affected first. The pinky finger is often second. The index, and long finger may follow. Movement in the fingers will become more difficult over time.
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A hand exam will be done. The doctor will often be done based on exam.
Treatment is more effective when the contracture is found early.
Treatment will help you regain use of your fingers. You may not need treatment yet if you still have normal use of your hand. Once it has progressed treatment options include:
Surgery is most effective in the early stages. Surgery may involve:
All surgeries have some risk of bleeding and infection. Dupuytren contracture can also come back after surgery.
Exercise Therapy After Surgery
Exercise therapy may be needed. It can help to restore full range of motion after a repair.
Medication may be injected into the area. Options include:
There is nothing that has been shown to prevent Dupuytren contracture.
American Society for Surgery of the Hand
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
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Rahr L, et al. Percutaneous needle fasciotomy for primary Dupuytren's contracture. J Hand Surg Eur Vol. 2011;36(7):548-552.
Riester S, vanWijnen A, Rizzo M, Kakar S. Pathogenesis and treatment of Dupuytren disease. J Bone Joint Surg Reviews. 2014;2(4):e2.
van Rijssen AL, et al. Five-year results of a randomized clinical trial on treatment in Dupuytren's disease: percutaneous needle fasciotomy versus limited fasciectomy. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2012 Feb;129(2):469-77.
2/12/2010 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114104/Dupuytren-disease: FDA approves Xiaflex for debilitating hand condition. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at:
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Published February 2, 2010. Accessed September 23, 2014.
Last reviewed September 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Teresa Briedwell, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS
Last Updated: 6/14/2018
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