Dupuytren’s contracture is a condition in which the tissue in the hand becomes thickened, making it difficult to move the fingers. The condition is more common in people of European descent and is estimated to affect up to 36 percent of the population in some European countries.
What Is Dupuytren’s Contracture?
Dupuytren’s disease is when the connective tissue in the hand becomes shortened and thickened. This causes the formation of thick, rope-like cords which can contract and pull the fingers inward towards the palm. This can make it difficult to perform everyday tasks such as picking up objects, putting on gloves, or putting your hands in your pockets.
The condition typically develops slowly over the years, and while some people with Dupuytren’s contracture may only have the bumps underneath the skin, most experience worsening symptoms that can result in impaired function and mobility of the fingers without treatment. Eventually, patients have a difficult time straightening their fingers.
Who Are Affected By This Condition?
There is no definitive cause of Dupuytren’s disease, but it is believed to have a genetic component since it often runs in families. Additionally, the disease is more common in older individuals and is diagnosed more often in men. Risk factors for Dupuytren’s disease may include smoking, alcoholism, diabetes, or a nutritional deficiency.
Symptoms of Dupuytren’s Contracture
Here are the signs you have Dupuytren’s Contracture:
1. You Have Trouble with Mobility
This condition usually does not prevent someone from gripping objects or making a fist, but they may have decreased their fingers and hand range of motion. If someone enjoys playing golf or tennis, they may find it difficult to hold the racket or golf club.
2. There’s a Bump in Your Palm
The first sign of Dupuytren’s contracture is usually a small lump or nodule in the palm. This is caused by the palmar fascia, the connective tissue in the palm, becoming diseased. This usually occurs on the ulnar side of the hand. Dupuytren’s does not usually need treatment at this early stage, as it may or may not get worse.
3. You Can’t Open Your Hands
Dupuytren’s Disease is a condition where the patient has difficulty opening their hand fully and often pokes themselves in the eye when trying to wash their face. The disease typically affects the ring finger and pinky but can impact any finger. Another sign of Dupuytren’s is when the patient goes to rest their hand on a table, they may notice that their palm no longer lays completely flat due to the fingers beginning to pull inward.
4. You Can’t Fit Your Hand into Gloves
Dupuytren’s disease can make it difficult to put your fingers in gloves or pockets. The disease causes your fingers to bend, making it hard to straighten them out.
5. Your Hand Is Itchy and Tender
Dupuytren’s contracture does not typically cause pain, but some people with the condition may feel tenderness, burning, itching, or pressure when attempting to straighten their fingers. This is due to increased inflammation in the hand.
Dupuytren’s contracture is a condition that affects the hand and fingers, causing them to bend and curl. The main symptom of Dupuytren’s contracture is a thickening and tightening of the tissue under the skin of the palm, which can limit the movement of the affected fingers.
Although there is no cure for Dupuytren’s contracture, there are treatments that can improve the symptoms. If you are experiencing symptoms of Dupuytren’s contracture, it is important to seek treatment from a qualified healthcare professional.
North Florida Hand and Wrist provides expertly-trained hand and wrist surgeons committed to providing patients with the absolute best care possible. We are a state-of-the-art surgical facility staffed by a team of dedicated practitioners whose primary goal is to ease any hand or wrist discomfort you may experience. If you’re looking for a hand specialist in Jacksonville, FL, for the treatment of Dupuytren’s Contracture, we’ve got you covered. Get in touch with us today and let us know how we can help!