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Dupuytrens Contracture

Dupuytrens Contracture is a painless deformity of the hand. It results from a thickening of tissue that lies just below the skin of your palm. This causes one or more fingers to bend toward the palm and unable to straighten. The ring and little finger are most often affected.


The cause of the disease is not clear but risk factors include;

  • People of Northern European descent
  • Men over the age of 50
  • Tobacco and alcohol use
  • Vascular disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Diabetes
  • Hereditary- If one or more persons in your family are already affected by it


Generally lumps or bands on the palm of the hand are clear indications.


Your orthopaedic surgeon will;

  • Take a complete medical history
  • Conduct physical tests whereby feeling in the thumb and fingers will be tested as well as the ability to Grip and pinch.


Treatment involves removing or breaking the cords that cause your fingers to contract. This process can be done in a number of ways. The procedure chosen will be based on the individual’s medical history.

Options include:

  • Needling, where by, needles are used to puncture and break the contracting cords. The main advantage of this procedure being that no incision needs to be made.
  • An enzyme injection is administered which softens the cords in your palm. The following day the affected hand is manipulated and softened cords relax causing the hand to straighten.
  • Finally, surgical removal of this tissue under local anaesthetic may also be done. Surgery offers the more complete release when compared to the other two methods.