Dupuytren's contracture (also called Dupuytren's disease) is an abnormal thickening of the skin in the palm of your hand at the base of your fingers. This thickened area may develop into a hard lump or thick band. Over time, it can cause one or more fingers to curl (contract), or pull sideways or in toward your palm.
The ring and little fingers are most commonly affected. In many cases, it affects both hands. Rarely, feet may also be affected.
Dupuytren's contracture is believed to run in families (be hereditary). The exact cause is not known.
It may be linked to cigarette smoking, alcoholism, diabetes, nutritional deficiencies, or medicines used to treat seizures.
You may be at greater risk for Dupuytren’s contracture if you:
Common symptoms may include:
The symptoms of Dupuytren's contracture may look like other health problems. Always see your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
Your provider will examine your hand. He or she will test the flexibility and feeling in your thumb and fingers. Your grip and pinch strength may also be tested.
Your provider will measure and record the locations of nodules and bands on your palm. Using a special tool, he or she will measure how much your fingers are curling or contracting. Range of motion in your fingers may also be measured.
These measurements will be compared to later measurements to see if the disease gets any worse. They can also be used to see if treatment is working.
Your healthcare provider will create a care plan for you based on:
There is no cure for Dupuytren’s contracture. The condition is not dangerous. Many people don’t get treatment. But treatment can slow the disease or help ease your symptoms.
Treatments for Dupuytren's contracture may include:
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:
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