Treatment for Dupuytren’s Contracture in Cincinnati
Dupuytren’s contracture is a hand deformity that can make it difficult to bend the fingers. This condition is usually not painful, but can make everyday activities more difficult. At the Clifton Hand Surgery Center, in partnership with TriHealth, our hand and wrist specialists can treat Dupuytren’s contracture to help patients maintain hand function.
What is Dupuytren’s Contracture?
Dupuytren’s contracture, sometimes referred to as Duypuytren’s disease, causes the fascia in the palm and fingers to thicken and tighten. The fascia is a fibrous layer of tissue that helps keep the skin on the palm side of the hand stable and in place. In patients with Dupuytren’s contracture, this fascia gradually begins to thicken and grow tighter. At first, this thickening leads to the formation of nodules, or bumps, under the skin of the palm. These nodules can be followed by the appearance of pits or dents in nearby palm skin. As the condition progresses, the bands of fascia become thick cords, pulling the thumb or fingers into a bent position.1
Symptoms of Duyputren’s Contracture
Symptoms of Dupuytren’s contracture may include:
- Inability to rest the hand palm down flat on a table
- Nodules (small, tender lumps) in the palm
- Bands or cords of tissue under the skin of the palm
- Pits or divots near bands of contracted skin
- Fingers that are pulled forward
- Diminished hand function2
Causes of Dupuytren’s Contracture
The cause of Dupuytren’s contracture is not known, but it is believed to be genetic. The following risk factors may make a person more likely to develop Dupuytren’s contracture:
- Age: Most people begin to develop this condition after the age of 50.
- Gender: Men are more likely to develop Dupuytren’s contracture and to have more severe contractures than women are.
- Ancestry: The highest risk for this condition is in people of Northern European descent.
- Family history: This condition is often inherited.
- Alcohol and tobacco use: People who smoke may be more likely to develop Dupuytren’s contracture, possibly because of the way smoking affects blood vessels. Alcohol consumption is also associated with this condition.
- Diabetes: People who have diabetes appear to be at a higher risk for Dupuytren’s contracture.3
Treatment for Dupuytren’s Contracture
Dupuytren’s contracture is a condition which progresses very slowly, and some cases are so mild that no treatment is needed. When it becomes difficult to straighten the fingers due to Dupuytren’s contracture, treatment is recommended to reduce the contracture and improve hand and finger mobility.
At Beacon Orthopaedics, we start by recommending the least invasive treatment possible to effectively alleviate a patient’s symptoms from Dupuytren’s contracture. This may include steroid injections to prevent inflammation and potentially slow the rate of contracture.
Surgery for Dupuytren’s Contracture
When a patient’s Dupuytren’s contracture has progressed to the point where hand function is impaired, our hand and wrist experts may recommend surgery. This may include:
- Fasciotomy: This procedure is performed to divide the thickened and contracted cords impacting hand function. The cords are not removed; only divided, and this procedure is performed under local anesthesia.
- Subtotal Palmar Fasciotomy: In this procedure, the surgeon will remove as much of the contracted tissue as possible, potentially allowing the patient to straighten his or her finger.
Contact Beacon Orthopaedics
If Dupuytren’s contracture or another hand or wrist injury is making it difficult for you to properly function, the hand and wrist specialists at Beacon Orthopaedics can help. To learn more about your treatment options, please contact us to schedule a consultation.
1 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Duypuytren’s Disease. Available: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/dupuytrens-disease/. Accessed November 22, 2021..
2 Johns Hopkins Medicine. Dupuytren’s Contracture. Available: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/dupuytrens-contracture. Accessed November 22, 2021.
3 Mayo Clinic. Dupuytren’s Contracture. Available: mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dupuytrens-contracture/symptoms-causes/syc-20371943. Accessed November 22, 2021.