FORM Hand, Wrist & Elbow Institute

Dupuytren’s Contracture Fremont

Dupuytren’s disease is a condition in which tissue under the skin of your palm and fingers thicken and tighten. It is a genetic disorder that causes a hard lump on the palm, making it difficult to straighten the fingers. It may not always be painful, but it restricts your hand movement. Dupuytren’s disease permanently bends fingers into a fixed position; it can become difficult to grasp large objects and perform simple tasks like washing the face or putting gloves on. However, it may not stop you from writing or gripping small things, as the index finger and thumb remain unaffected. Apart from family history, many factors can escalate risks, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, diabetes, thyroid dysfunction, and prolonged exposure to cold temperatures, especially for people sensitive to cold.

What are the Symptoms?

Common symptoms of Dupuytren’s disease include nodules in the palm, fingers bent down toward palms, difficulty straightening fingers, and using hands. Dupuytren’s isn’t always painful; the nodules in the palm may be sensitive to touch. Small nodules are the first signs, but thick cords that affect fingers and draw them toward the palm form as the condition progresses. The bending caused by thick tissue is called contracture. Dupuytren’s contracture is more common in middle-aged men, and the exact cause that triggers it remains unknown.

Dupuytren can take many years to develop. Some people experience mild forms, while others may have severe symptoms that pose a challenge in performing the simplest tasks in daily life. Signs or symptoms may likely occur in one or both hands, and the most common fingers are ring and little fingers, but it can also affect other fingers.

How to Diagnose Dupuytren’s Contracture?

Our healthcare provider thoroughly examines the patient’s hand. The idea is to test the flexibility and feeling in the thumb and fingers. Grip and pinch strength may also be tested, along with locations of nodules and bands on the palm. Then, a tool tests how much your fingers are contracting. These measurements will be compared to later measurements to see if the disease worsens. They can also be used to see if treatment is working.

If the condition progresses slowly, you feel no pain, and it has little impact on your ability to use your hands for everyday tasks; you don’t need treatment, just monitoring. However, if your condition has progressed to the point where it impacts your ability to use your hands, nonsurgical and surgical options are available for treating Dupuytren’s contracture, depending on the severity. Contact our office today if you feel you are suffering from this conidition and would like an evaluation.