Dupuytren’s Contracture is a condition in the hand where the 2 fingers furthest away from the thumb cannot be straightened completely and are bent toward the palm. This condition affects the fibrous layer of tissue that lies underneath the skin of your palm and fingers, known as fascia.
Over time, the fascia thickens and causes one or more fingers to be pulled into a bent position.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Dupuytren’s Contracture develops slowly, over a period of years. Some symptoms include:
- Thickening of the skin on the palm
- Formation of a bump or lump on the palm
- The fingers furthest away from your palm (last 2 fingers) are pulled toward your palm in a bent position. Occasionally, the middle finger is affected.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES AND RISK FACTORS?
The causes of a Dupuytren’s Contracture are unknown. However, some risk factors of Dupuytren’s Contracture include:
People aged 50 and above have a higher risk
Men have a higher risk
- Family history
- Medical conditions such as diabetes increase your risk
People of Northern European descent have a higher risk
WHAT IS THE DIAGNOSIS?
A history of the injury and a physical examination of the hand will be conducted by the Doctor. He will check if there are any lumps or bumps in your palm and check on the range of motion of your fingers and thumb.
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS?
Should you find that you are still able to perform everyday activities without much pain and problem, you do not need to seek treatment for your Dupuytren’s Contracture. Should treatment be required, nonsurgical treatment options include:
- Steroid injections such as corticosteroid injection to reduce inflammation and pain
- Enzyme injections such as Xiaflex to soften and weaken the cord that is causing contraction to the finger(s)
- Needling to puncture the cord that is causing contraction to the finger(s)
Should nonsurgical treatment options be ineffective, or if the cord is interfering with your everyday activities, surgery may be recommended. Usually after surgery, physiotherapy will be required to help you regain strength and restore your range of motion.