Dupuytren’s Contracture

What Is Dupuytren’s Contracture?

Dupuytren’s Contracture: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Dupuytren’s contracture is a relatively rare hand condition characterized by the thickening of the fibrous tissue layer beneath the palm’s skin and one or more fingers. This thickening leads to the tightening (contracting) of tendons, resulting in difficulty extending the affected finger(s). Typically, the finger remains persistently curled. While this condition is more frequently observed in men, its precise cause remains unknown. However, it is more commonly seen in individuals who consume substantial amounts of alcohol, have diabetes, smoke, or experience seizures akin to epilepsy.

Symptoms of Dupuytren’s Contracture

The symptoms of Dupuytren’s contracture tend to develop gradually. Initial symptoms may involve the formation of one or more small nodules within the palm. Although these nodules can be tender initially, the tenderness often subsides over time. Subsequently, these nodules can thicken and contract, creating tough tissue bands beneath the skin. Eventually, one or more fingers may begin to curl toward the palm. As the condition progresses, straightening the curled fingers may become challenging, affecting the ability to grasp large objects. While all fingers can potentially be affected, the most commonly involved digits are the ring and “pinky” fingers.

Treatment of Dupuytren’s Contracture

While Dupuytren’s contracture cannot be completely halted or cured, its slow progression may not cause immediate issues for years. In some cases, the condition may never progress further even if palm nodules develop. When the condition becomes problematic, various treatment options are available, both nonsurgical and surgical.

Steroid injections are a nonsurgical method used to alleviate the pain associated with nodules. They often provide pain relief and may help prevent the contracture from worsening. In instances where fingers are already contracted, XIAFLEX® injections, containing a mixture of enzymes that dissolve thickened tissue, may be employed. Surgical intervention may be recommended if Dupuytren’s contracture continues to advance.

At City Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, we specialize in diagnosing and treating Dupuytren’s contracture and a wide range of orthopedic conditions. Contact us today for personalized care tailored to your needs, ensuring effective management of Dupuytren’s contracture symptoms and your overall hand health.

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