Symptoms of Dupuytren’s contracture can vary in severity but typically include a thickened and puckered skin on the palm of the hand, as well as a firm lump or cord that can be felt beneath the skin. Pits in the palm can also occur early in Dupuytren’s disease. As the condition progresses, one or more fingers may become progressively bent or curled, making it difficult to perform everyday tasks such as grasping objects or typing. Some patients will also have nodules on the bottom of their feet or other associated symptoms.
The exact cause of Dupuytren’s contracture is unknown, but it is more common in men over the age of 40, in individuals of Northern European ancestry, and in individuals with a family history of the condition. It is not caused by activity or lifestyle choices.
Treatment options for Dupuytren’s contracture depend on the severity of the condition and the degree of impairment it causes. In mild cases, observation may be recommended. However, if the deformity is more severe, treatment may include splinting or the use of a device to stretch the affected finger or fingers. Collagenase injections may also be recommended to dissolve the cord that is causing the finger to curl. If the condition is more advanced or if other treatments are not effective, then surgical intervention is typically necessary. During this quick procedure, the thickened tissue and/or tight bands of tissue that are causing the finger to curl are removed. We perform outpatient fasciectomies to treat Dupuytren’s contracture at our accredited surgery center in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Dupuytren’s Contracture Repair Benefits
Dupuytren’s contracture repair can improve hand function, relieve pain and discomfort, and improve the appearance of the hand. By releasing the tight cords or bands of tissue that are causing the fingers to curl, repair surgery can restore the ability to grasp objects, use tools, and perform daily tasks. In more severe cases, surgery can prevent the progression of the disease, which can lead to worsening deformity and disability over time.
It is important to note that like any surgery, Dupuytren’s contracture repair carries some risks, such as infection, bleeding, and nerve damage. Patients should discuss the potential benefits and risks of surgery with their healthcare provider to determine if repair surgery is the right choice for them.
Medical Review: This procedural information has been medically reviewed by plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Brian A. Cripe, M.D.