|Other encyclopedia topics:||A-Ag Ah-Ap Aq-Az B-Bk Bl-Bz C-Cg Ch-Co Cp-Cz D-Di Dj-Dz E-Ep Eq-Ez F G H-Hf Hg-Hz I-In Io-Iz J K L-Ln Lo-Lz M-Mf Mg-Mz N O P-Pl Pm-Pz Q R S-Sh Si-Sp Sq-Sz T-Tn To-Tz U V W X Y Z 0-9|
|Contents of this page:|
Definition Return to top
Dupuytren's contracture is a painless thickening and contracture of tissue beneath the skin on the palm of the hand and fingers.
Causes Return to top
The cause is unknown, but minor injury and your genes may make you more likely to develop this condition.
One or both hands may be affected. The ring finger is affected most often, followed by the little, middle, and index fingers.
A small, painless nodule develops in the connective tissue and eventually develops into a cord-like band. In severe cases, it's difficult or even impossible to extend the fingers.
The condition becomes more common after the age of 40. Men are affected more often than women. Risk factors are alcoholism, epilepsy, pulmonary tuberculosis, diabetes, and liver disease.
Symptoms Return to top
Exams and Tests Return to top
A physical examination of the palm by touch (palpation) confirms the presence of thickened scar tissue (fibrosis) and contracture. Restriction of motion is common.
Treatment Return to top
Exercises, warm water baths, or splints may be helpful. The progression of the contracture is monitored.
Surgery may be performed to release the contracture, depending on the severity of the condition. Normal movement of the fingers is usually restored by surgery followed by physical therapy exercises for the hand.
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
The disorder progresses at an unpredictable rate. Surgical treatment can usually restore normal movement to the fingers. The disease can recur following surgery in some cases.
Possible Complications Return to top
Worsening of the contracture may result in deformity and loss of function of the hand.
There is a risk of injury to blood vessels and nerves during surgery.
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of this disorder.
Prevention Return to top
Awareness of risk factors may allow early detection and treatment.Update Date: 5/12/2008 Updated by: Thomas N. Joseph, MD, Private Practice specializing in Orthopaedics, subspecialty Foot and Ankle, Camden Bone & Joint, Camden, SC. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.