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Dupuytren's Contracture

Fox Valley Hand Deformity Treatment

Dupuytren’s contracture is a hand deformity affecting tissue beneath the palm. Typically developing over the course of many years, the condition arises when the layer of tissue below the skin’s surface thickens and becomes tight in the palm. As it worsens, Dupuytren’s contracture forms fibrous bands, which can pull one or more fingers toward the palm. Although it is painless and slow to develop, the condition can interfere with daily activities.

Cause

The cause of Dupuytren’s contracture is not known. Unlike some hand and arm conditions, it does not appear as though occupational risks increase the odds of developing contracture. Nor has sports injury or prolonged overuse been tied to the condition. However, data suggests some contributing factors:

  • Northern European Descent – Ancestry predisposes some families to Dupuytren’s contracture.
  • Age – The condition occurs more frequently among those over age 50.
  • Sex – Men are more likely than women to develop Dupuytren’s contracture.
  • Lifestyle – Smoking and drinking alcohol have been tied to higher incidence of this hand condition.
  • Illness – Diabetes and other illness may raise the risk of developing conditions like Dupuytren’s contracture.

Both hands may be affected, but contracture is often more pronounced on one side.

Description

Dupuytren’s contracture progresses in stages, sometimes starting with thickened skin in the palm. As it advances, dimples or distinct lumps may appear, with tenderness. Eventually, tough bands of tissue can develop beneath the skins’ surface, extending toward the fingers. The little finger and ring finger are most commonly affected by Dupuytren’s contracture, which prevents them from fully straightening. In severe cases, the presence of Dupuytren’s contracture makes it difficult for sufferers to grasp large objects and flatten the palm.

Symptoms

Dupuytren’s contracture causes these symptoms:

  • Gradually occurring symptoms
  • Small lumps in palm with tenderness that usually fades
  • Tough bands of tissue under skin
  • Curled fingers, most commonly ring finger and little finger
  • Unable to fully straighten finger or grasp large objects
  • May be tender

Schedule an appointment with a hand specialist in Kane County today. Call us at (630) 584-1400.

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