I was diagnosed with Dupuytren’s contracture. It made my everyday activities a challenge. If this sounds familiar, talk with a hand specialist today.
Collagen builds up in the hand beneath the surface of the skin and forms a “rope-like” cord on the palm
The cord can tighten, making one or more fingers bend toward the palm so they can’t be straightened
It may limit the range of motion of your fingers
Dupuytren's contracture is part of the progression of Dupuytren's disease, which is caused by a buildup of collagen under the skin of the palm. Before the contracture occurs, you may see the following changes:
One of the first signs to appear is often a lump (also called a nodule) below the skin of your palm. You may have one or more of these lumps.
A dimpling of the skin on your palm may appear. This is also called pitting.
Thick cords or inflexible bands may also develop under the skin. These cords are caused by collagen that builds up under the skin (the cords are not your tendon). The cords may look “rope-like” and extend from your palm into the finger.
If you develop a “rope-like” cord, it may tighten over time. This tightening may pull (or contract) your finger toward the palm so it can’t be straightened. As the contracture gets worse, your range of motion may decrease.
The joints in your hand that are most commonly affected by Dupuytren’s contracture are:
The PIP joints are in the middle of your fingers.
The MP joints are in the base of your fingers, where the fingers meet the palm.
PIP=proximal interphalangeal; MP=metacarpophalangeal
While the exact cause of Dupuytren’s contracture is unknown, common risk factors for the condition include:
Dupuytren’s contracture affects men more than women
Symptoms usually start after age 40 but can occur as early as age 20
Dupuytren's contracture is more common in people with Northern European ancestry—but anyone can develop the condition
If others in your family have had Dupuytren’s contracture, your risk for the condition may be higher
People who smoke may have a higher risk of developing Dupuytren’s contracture