4 Common Symptoms of Dupuytren’s Contracture

Dupuytren’s Contracture Precision Bone and Joint in Austin, Texas

Dupuytren’s contracture is a rare disease that causes hand deformity. Named after a French doctor, the condition affects about 10 million people in the United States. The first sign of the disease is a thickening of the skin under your palm.

As it advances, the skin thickens and tightens and causes fingers to contract, which is where the “contracture” comes into the name. The disease comes on gradually and not all cases of Dupuytren’s contracture advance to the deformity stage.

Who’s at risk for Dupuytren’s contracture?

There is no known cause of Dupuytren’s contracture. But, men over age 40 of northern European descent are at the highest risk. Other risk factors include:

What are the symptoms of Dupuytren’s contracture?

Symptoms vary from person to person. While the disease and symptoms are not life-threatening or serious, it can be debilitating in advanced stages. Common symptoms of Dupuytren’s contracture include:

Thickening of skin on the palm of your hand(s)

In the early stages of the disease, the first sign is usually thickening of the skin on the palm of your hand.

Firm pits and bumps under the skin in the palm of your hand

The next stage of this disease is often hard lumps or bumps under the skin of your palm. These lumps may be tender but are usually not painful.

Thick cords develop from the palm out to one or more fingers

Usually, these cords develop out toward your pinky and ring finger, and sometimes your middle finger as well. They don’t often affect the other fingers. Dupuytren’s contracture can affect one or both hands.

One or more fingers bend toward the palm of your hand

The disease does not always advance to contracture of your fingers toward your palm. But when it does, you will start to fill the impact of the deformity as well as discomfort.

Simple tasks like washing your hands, wearing gloves, and putting on clothes become more difficult. Fortunately, there are treatment options to help you regain the use of your hands.

Less common signs of Dupuytren’s contracture are lumps and cords on the soles of your feet and a thickening of the skin on top of your knuckles.

Treatment options for Dupuytren’s contracture

In the early stages, treatment may not be necessary. After a diagnosis, your doctor will monitor the progress of the disease. If the disease advances and begins to impact the quality of your life, treatment options include steroid injections, enzyme injections, and surgery.

At Precision Bone and Joint, Dr. Harris S. Rose performs the following two surgeries:

Needle aponeurotomy

In this procedure, Dr. Rose uses a needle to cut the cords that are forcing your fingers to contract. This surgery has a high success rate, with most patients leaving the office with straight fingers and recovery in just a few days.

Partial fasciectomy

This is an open surgery done in an operating room. During this procedure, Dr. Rose makes an incision in your hand and removes the cords. Hand therapy is necessary for maximum results following the surgery.

For more information on symptoms and treatment of Dupuytren’s contracture, call Dr. Rose at Precision Bone and Joint in Austin, Texas, for an appointment or consultation. You can also make an appointment online through this website.

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