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Printed at: 05:48:08 / 25-09-2021

Dupuytrens Contracture Information Sheet

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What is Dupuytrens Contracture?

Dupuytrens contracture is a disease that involves the “palmar fascia”, this is a layer of tissue that lies under the surface of the skin. The disease causes the tissue to contract or shorten which can pull the finger(s) towards the palm of the hand. Most people first notice the onset of Dupuytrens when lumps appear in the palm of the hand, commonly at the base of the little and ring fingers. Over time the skin can look dimpled and gradually the finger(s) get pulled towards the palm of the hand and cannot be straightened.

What causes Dupuytrens Contracture?
The trigger that starts Dupuytrens is unknown but the problem is more common in men over 60 years of age and tends to run in families. It is linked with epilepsy, alcoholism, and diabetes. There is no definite link with trauma or occupation.

What is the treatment for Dupuytrens Disease?
In mild cases where there are only nodules in the palm of the hand, no treatment is necessary and as there is no proven effective treatment to halt the disease it is a watch and wait situation. Surgery is required when the contractures have caused limitation of the finger joint movements. A simple assessment for this is the table top test. If the palm of the hand cannot be placed completely flat on a hard surface then surgery is indicated and your GP may refer you to a hand surgeon.