Dupuytren's contracture is a hand deformity that involves thickening and tightening of a layer of tissue that lies beneath the skin of the palm of the hands and fingers. Individuals suffering from Dupuytren's contracture can be affected by this condition in their everyday activities such as shaking hands, putting on gloves, playing cards, and others. Dupuytren's contracture most commonly affects the ring finger and pinky, and occurs most often in older men of Northern European descent. There are a number of treatment options for individuals with dupuytren’s contracture that can help slow the progression of the condition and relieve symptoms. 



Signs and symptoms of Dupuytren's contracture typically include:

  • Affect on the ring finger and pinky
  • Affect on one of both hands
  • Thickening of the skin on the palm of the hand
  • Dimpled skin appearance on the palm of the hand
  • Small, painless lump
  • Straightening or extending hands might become difficult



Causes for Dupuytren’s contracture remain unknown. It is known however that the condition most often occurs in individuals with a family history of Dupuytren’s contracture, or in patients with diabetes, mellitus, seizure disorders and alcoholism. Some researchers have speculated that it may be associated with an autoimmune reaction, where a person's immune system attacks its own body tissues.


Risk factors 

Factors associated with the risk of developing Dupuytren’s contracture include:

  • Age (most common after the age of 50)
  • Gender (most common in men than in women)
  • Ancestry (being of North European descent)
  • Smoking (microscopic changes within blood vessels)
  • Family history of Dupuytren’s contracture
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Diabetes



Complications associated with Dupuytren's contracture include the following:

  • Difficulty grasping large objects
  • Limiting ability to fully open the hand
  • Limiting the ability to perform certain functions for everyday tasks

Possible complications that might arise from treatment of Dupuytren’s contracture through surgery include:

  • Damage to the nerves
  • Joint stiffness
  • Wound failure
  • Infection to the wound
  • Scarring
  • Blood filled wound