Dupuytren’s Contracture, otherwise known as Dupuytren’s disease, is a thickening of the skin in the palm of the hand at the base of the fingers, forming lumps in the area. Due to this, one or more fingers curl or are drawn inward or sideways toward the palm.
While the most commonly affected fingers are the ring and little fingers, both hands are frequently affected. Patients have a variety of symptoms ranging from mild to severe, including difficulty using their hands. The exact cause of this condition is unknown except that there are findings of genetics that could play a role.
Read on to learn more about Dupuytren’s Contracture.
The thickening of the tissue beneath the skin on the palm is one of the early symptoms of Dupuytren’s contracture. While usually painless, it still has the ability to affect the function of the hand.
Additional symptoms of Dupuytren’s contracture include forming of nodules beneath the palm’s skin, tissue bands (cords) embedded in the skin of the palm, finger joints that are overly rigid, difficulty straightening one or more fingers (usually the ring and little fingers), and palm pits.
The Risk Factors
There are known risk factors for the development or progression of Dupuytren’s disease. Most often, it is found in males, individuals who are 40 years old and above, are of Northern European or Scandinavian ethnicity, or have relatives who have had the same condition.
Other risk factors include lifestyle habits such as excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, and previous hand injuries. Moreover, individuals who are suffering from diabetes, hepatitis, tuberculosis, high cholesterol, and thyroid issues are also at greater risk of developing Dupuytren’s Contracture.
Moreover, those who are under medication such as phenobarbital, Isoniazid, Tetracycline and fluoroquinolone antibiotics, Ropinirole, Metoprolol, and Vemurafenib also are at risk.
A patient’s history and physical examination can reveal Dupuytren’s contracture. Typically, the patient’s hands and fingers, as well as their range of motion, are examined. Imaging studies are rarely used.
The Possible Treatments
Dupuytren’s contracture is a chronic condition that further develops and worsens over time. With that said, the goal of treatment is to simply relieve symptoms. Additionally, the severity of the symptoms or the stage of the disease determines the suitable treatment options.
Mild cases might not necessitate medical attention. For at-home symptom relief, patients may cushion the handles or wear padded gloves to aid in grasping, get massage therapy for pain relief, and keep the fingers’ flexibility and hand function intact.
For severe cases of Dupuytren’s contracture, the following may be necessary:
1. Radiation Therapy
Extremely high doses of X-rays are used to help slow disease progression. It is only effective during the active phase of the condition when nodules and cords grow.
2. Needle Aponeurotomy Procedure
This is done to separate the thick tissue. The affected palm or hand will be pierced with a needle.
3. Prescribed Medication
Collagenase injections, such as Xiapex, can help soften and dissolve dense tissue.
4. Minor Surgery
Mild surgery will be needed to break apart and remove the formed thick tissue.
Now that you’ve learned some fast facts about Dupuytren’s Contracture, you’ll have knowledge and information worth sharing, learning more about, and discussing with your doctor. After all, there’s only so much the Internet can tell you. Seek a medical professional about this condition and determine the ways to lessen risks for you and your loved ones.
If you’re looking for the best hand specialist, The North Florida Hand and Wrist team of experts is here to relieve you of any pain and discomfort in your hands or wrists. Call us today and set up an appointment!