Dupuytren's disease (also called Dupuytren's contracture) is a thickening and shortening of the fascia, the fibrous tissue underneath the skin of the fingers and the palm. This thickened area may begin as a hard lump that can progress to a thick band which causes involved fingers to curl toward the palm, limiting extension or straightening of the finger.
A Dupuytren’s contracture typically progresses slowly and may remain mild. For moderate or severe cases, the condition can interfere with hand function. When this occurs, non-surgical and surgical treatment options can restore normal motion in the affected fingers; most often this involves the ring and little finger.
Orthopaedic hand surgeons at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) are experts at diagnosing and treating Dupuytren's disease with a range of options, including minimally invasive procedures such as enzyme injection, needle aponeurotomy and surgical approaches, including fasciotomy and subtotal palmar fasciectomy.
Dupuytren's disease has a number of risk factors which can make an individual more likely to get it, including:
Symptoms often progress gradually over many years. Symptoms can include:
Your orthopaedic surgeon will evaluate your medical history and conduct a variety of tests to determine if you have Dupuytren's disease:
If diagnosed early, symptoms of Dupuytren's disease may be reduced without surgery. Non-surgical treatments include:
If non-surgical treatment does not relieve your symptoms, surgery may be recommended. Surgical approaches include:
The length of recovery varies for each individual. You should expect some pain, stiffness and swelling. Elevating your hand above your heart and gently moving your fingers will help.
Our certified hand therapists can help reduce swelling and speed your recovery through wound care, and strength and flexibility exercises. He or she will fabricate a splint for you to wear during recovery.
Learn more about Dupuytren’s disease - BWH Health Library
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