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Dupuytren's Contracture

Dupuytren's Contracture is a benign or non-cancerous condition, which affects the palm of the hand and fingers. Dupuytren's Contracture typically begins as a thickening of the tissue of the palm in the form of a nodule or lump. It is almost always painless and usually affects the ring or small finger. As the contracture progresses, the abnormal tissue begins to tighten and will bend the affected fingers into the palm. This is usually a very gradual process. Bending the fingers is not a problem, but straightening them may be difficult or impossible if the disease is advanced or severe. In severe cases, the contracture may interfere with activities of daily living such as wearing gloves, washing hands and putting hands in pockets.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the symptoms?

Dupuytren's Contracture typically begins as a thickening of the tissue of the palm in the form of a nodule or lump. It is almost always painless and usually affects the ring or small finger. As the contracture progresses, the abnormal tissue begins to tighten and will bend the affected fingers into the palm. This is usually a very gradual process. Bending the fingers is not a problem, but straightening them may be difficult or impossible if the disease is advanced or severe. In severe cases, the contracture may interfere with activities of daily living such as wearing gloves, washing hands and putting hands in pockets.

Who gets it?

It typically affects middle-aged males of Northern European ancestry, though both sexes and other ethnic groups may develop the condition. Some people may develop a more severe form of Dupuytren's Contracture. These include individuals that develop it a young age, have a strong family history of the condition, and have other areas of the body affected (feet).

What causes it?

The exact cause of Dupuytren's Contracture is unknown.

What can be done?

Initially treatment consists of observation. Surgical treatment is indicated when the contracture affects activities of daily living or the contracture becomes significant. A significant contracture is defined as one that prevents you from placing your hand flat on a tabletop. The surgical treatment consists of removal of the diseased tissue, followed by significant hand therapy. Surgery is not a permanent cure and the contracture may develop later in previously unaffected areas and occasionally recur in the operated area. Surgery is performed on an outpatient basis.

If you think you may have one of these medical conditions, hand pain, or hand numbness, please call our office at 973‑538‑5200 to make an appointment with Dr. Miller.