Dupuytren contracture is a condition that occurs when knots of tissue form under the skin of the palm. This deformed tissue pulls the fingers into a bent position. This condition moves slowly over many years and in some cases can hinder hand function.
Fascia is a layer of tissue that stabilizes the skin on the palm side of the hand, this is why the skin on your palm is immovable but the skin on the back of your hand is elastic. Dupuytren’s disease thickens and tightens the fascia, slowly hindering the functionality of the fingers.
The cause of dupuytren’s disease is mostly unknown, but what evidence is available suggests genetics plays the biggest role. Symptoms progress very slowly, over a span of years. Signs and symptoms include:
Nodules: small lumps under the skin of the palms.
Cords: as the nodules thicken and contract, dense cords thicken and form under the skin that hinders mobility in the fingers.
Contractures: As the nodules and cords tighten, one or more fingers may start to contract toward the palm and patients to lose the ability to spread their fingers. The ring and little fingers are the most commonly affected.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Dupuytren’s, but the condition is not dangerous. Steroid injections help ease the spread and slow progression of the disease. Surgical treatments can be used to “set back the clock” by disrupting the cords or removing them. Splints will be warned after to help the healing and allow the skin to heal in a less-restrictive manner.