Identifying the signs and risks of Dupuytren’s contracture (DC) is the first step to diagnosing the disease and also helps you and your doctor decide if it’s time for treatment.
DC is actually part of the progression of Dupuytren’s disease, which is caused by a buildup of collagen under the skin in the palm. As the collagen thickens, it can pull the finger toward the palm. This results in the contracture. Before the contracture occurs, you may see changes in your palm, caused by Dupuytren’s disease:
Some patients with DC have described a noticeable or raised “cord” that extends from the palm into the finger. Over time, the cord can tighten, pulling (contracting) the finger downward and decreasing the range of motion.
The joints most commonly affected are:
The PIP joints in the middle of the fingers.
The MP joints in the base of the fingers, where the fingers meet the palm.
PIP=proximal interphalangeal; MP=metacarpophalangeal
If you have Dupuytren’s contracture, you might notice its effects worsening over time.
Treatment is available for contractures ranging from mild to more severe. As the contracture worsens, especially in your PIP joint, changes in your hand may be more difficult to cope with.
For some, it may progress slowly over years. For others, progression may happen much more quickly. Every hand is unique, but the signs that you may have DC are noticeable. Talk to your doctor if you observe changes in your hand.
Treatment is available for a range of contractures from mild to more severe.Find a hand specialist in your area today