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All about Dupuytren's Contracture

Dupuytren's contracture (also called Dupuytren's disease) is when the skin in your palm thickens and causes a nodule which can lead to a finger contracting down.

What are the symptoms of Dupuytren’s contracture?

As mentioned above, you may have a finger that has started to contract down or a thickening in your palm. It commonly affects the ring and little finger, but you can get it in any of your fingers and also your thumb.

Generally you will have normal function and not be in any particular pain but may you find that the contracted finger is getting in the way of your normal daily activities such as doing the washing up, cooking and cleaning for example.

What investigations are needed?

Firstly, you’ll be checked to see if there is an injury to the finger or tendon which could be a reason why the finger won't straighten but the key thing to show Dupuytren’s is that it is very difficult to straighten the finger. Generally, if you cannot put your hand flat on a surface and it is interfering with your general hand function, then treatment may be needed.

What are my treatment options?

A simple procedure under local anaesthetic called Percutaneous Fasciotomy can be given where a small needle is used to open up the cord running to the finger in a gentle manipulation.

If this hasn’t helped then the next step would be to administer a nerve block to the whole arm, and surgically remove the thickened tissue from the finger.


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