What is Dupuytren’s contracture?
Dupuytren’s contracture, or Dupuytren’s disease, is a hand deformity that usually develops over years. This condition is a thickening of the connective tissue (fascia) located just beneath the skin of the palm and fingers. This may develop into a hard lump that eventually could cause the fingers to contract, or pull into the palm. This is called a flexion contracture. Dupuytren’s contracture is a common disorder that, left untreated, can be debilitating.
- Age. Most common in people 60 and older, yet some develop by late 30s.
- Sex. Men are more likely to develop Dupuytren's and to have more severe contractures than women.
- Ancestry. People of Northern European descent are at higher risk of the disease.
- Family history. Often runs in families.
- Tobacco and alcohol use. Microscopic changes within blood vessels are caused by smoking.
- Diabetes. Diabetics have an increased risk of Dupuytren's contracture.
Diagnoses can be made by the look and feel of hands, checking for toughened knots or bands of tissue. Not being able to fully flatten your fingers indicates you have Dupuytren's contracture.
Treatment involves removing or breaking apart the cords that are pulling your fingers toward your palm. The procedure depends on the severity of symptoms and other health problems. Options include:
Dupuytren's contracture by the numbers
More than 200,000 cases in US per year
Individuals over the age of 60 most often affected
Affects nearly twice as many males as females
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- "What You Should Know About Dupuytren's Contracture (Vikings Disease)." Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2017
- “Johns Hopkins Health - Straightening Out a Common Hand Concern." Johns Hopkins Medicine. N.p., 1 Jan. 2014. Web. 11 Apr. 2017.
- "Dupuytren's Contracture." Stanford Health Care (SHC) - Stanford Medical Center. N.p., 13 July 2016. Web. 11 Apr. 2017.