Dupuytren’s disease, also called Dupuytren’s contracture, is a condition that produces small nodules and cords on the palm of the hand that cause one or more fingers to contract and bend inward. The condition may affect one hand or both hands at the same time and most commonly involves the ring and little fingers.
Dupuytren’s contracture affects the connective tissue in the palm (the palmar fascia) that covers the tendons and holds them in place. It causes the tissue to contract and tighten, making it difficult to bend the fingers and fully open the palm of the hand.
The disease is fairly common and occurs seven times more often in men than in women, particularly men over the age of 40, and usually progresses slowly over a number of years. It is not usually painful, but the nodules under the skin can be sensitive to touch. Without treatment, the contracture can become so severe that using the hand effectively may become impossible.
A hand subspecialist at Lancaster Orthopedic Group will diagnose Dupuytren’s disease by examining and feeling the palm of your hand and your fingers and help you decide on the best course of treatment.
Although there is no cure for Dupuytren’s contracture, there are nonsurgical and surgical treatments that will usually depend on how far the condition has advanced. Mild cases may not require any treatment at all. Nonsurgical options include the injection of the FDA-approved drug, collagenase (brand name Xiaflex), to weaken and dissolve a contacted cord. Surgical release of the cords may be recommended in more severe cases.