Dupuytren’s Disease

This factsheet is for people who have Dupuytren’s disease, or who would like information about it.

Dupuytren’s disease is a progressive condition that causes nodules (lumps) in the palm and fingers. It can progress to cause the fingers to be pulled towards the palm of the hand.

  • About Dupuytren’s disease
  • Symptoms of Dupuytren’s disease
  • Causes of Dupuytren’s disease
  • Diagnosis of Dupuytren’s disease
  • Treatment of Dupuytren’s disease
  • Living with Dupuytren’s disease

About Dupuytren’s disease


In the UK, more than two million people are thought to have Dupuytren’s disease. It’s more common in people over 50, and especially in men. It particularly affects people from a northern European background and runs in families.

Symptoms of Dupuytren’s disease


Dupuytren’s disease begins with firm lumps or nodules forming in your palm, often in line with your fourth (ring) finger. These are caused by thickening of the layer of tissue just under the skin. These nodules aren’t usually painful.

About one person in three who has Dupuytren’s disease will find the nodules progress and increase in size to form rope-like cords that pull the finger towards the palm and prevent it straightening fully. Although it can look as if it’s your tendon causing this, in fact it’s the thickened layer of tissue below your skin causing the problem. Without treatment, one or more of your fingers may become fixed in a bent position. This process is known as contracture. The process of your fingers becoming contracted is usually slow, and happens over many months and years rather than within weeks.

Dupuytrens Contracture

Dupuytren’s Contracture

Causes of Dupuytren’s disease


The cause of Dupuytren’s disease isn’t known but it appears to run in families. Other factors that seem to increase the chance of developing this condition are:

  • being over 50
  • being male (eight out of 10 people with this condition are male)
  • being from a northern European descent
  • having diabetes
  • smoking
  • drinking excess alcohol

There is some evidence that the condition could be made worse by certain types of manual work, especially the use of vibrating tools. A one-off hand injury may, in rare cases, trigger the start of Dupuytren’s disease.

Diagnosis of Dupuytren’s disease


If you think you have contractures caused by Dupuytren’s disease and it’s affecting your hand function, see your doctor. He or she will ask about your symptoms and examine you. He or she may also ask you about your medical history.

Treatment of Dupuytren’s disease


There are a variety of treatments for Dupuytren’s disease that aim to straighten your fingers. The most common treatments involve some form of surgery.

Surgery

There are a number of different types of surgery. You will need to discuss with your surgeon which option is most suitable for you.

 

Living with Dupuytren’s disease


You may find that having Dupuytren’s disease doesn’t cause you many problems. However, if it becomes severe enough to affect your life so that daily tasks become difficult, see your doctor.

Call +65 6471 2674 for an appointment to see our orthopaedic specialist for your Dupuytren’s disease

Call (+65) 6471 2674 (24 hrs) for any queries you may have.

  1. steven chin says:

    I have been diagnose with this disease after my MRI Scan on my left palm. I only notice this tiny lump on my left palm 2 yrs ago. and its growing on one of my tendons acording to my doctore at SGH.Option is for me to remove it or just leave it as its still benign. But my only worry is that is this lump cancerous ? I also had a bulging lump on my right hand thumb which the doctor diagnose as Calcification. What will your best recommendation be for me?

    Thanks!

    steven

Send your queries below or Call (+65) 6471 2674 (24 hrs).

Your email address will not be published.