Dupuytren’s contracture is a disease which causes the abnormal thickening of the tissue just beneath the skin of the hand. The thickening of tissue begins in the palm and can spread up to the fingers. This condition may also be referred to as Dupuytren’s disease. If Dupuytren’s disease is left untreated it can cause the fingers to bend into the palm permanently. A patient of Dupuytren’s contracture disease faces difficulty in washing or shaking hands and holding large objects. Dupuytren’s contracture disease can occur in both the hands, but one hand is more affected than the other.
Causes of Dupuytren’s contracture disease The exact cause of Dupuytren’s contracture disease is unknown. However, some risk factors can increase the chances of developing this disease if you:
The most common symptom of Dupuytren’s contracture disease is the formation of lumps and pits within the palm. Other possible symptoms of dupuytren’s contracture disease are:
Diagnosis of Dupuytren’s contracture disease
- Thickness of skin
- Development of cords into one or more fingers
- Severely bent fingers
- Restricted movement of hands
- Difficulty in eating, wearing gloves, washing hands
A doctor conducts a physical exam to diagnose dupuytren’s contracture disease
. In this physical examination, he checks the lumps or nodules formed in your hands. He will ask you to pinch, hold an object, or press something with force. To know more about the severity of the condition, you will be asked to perform a tabletop test this test involves putting the palm of your affected hand flat on a table. After this, a doctor will order an X-ray to get a detailed view of a bending bone.
The treatment of dupuytren’s contracture disease depends upon the severity of your symptoms.
- Anti-inflammatory medicines and steroid injections prescribed by the doctor may reduce the size of nodules and prevent further thickening of underneath the skin.
- Enzyme injections may be given a doctor if your hand is already bent. The enzymes injected into the hand can break down the tough tissue and straighten your fingers.
- Doing stretching exercises on a daily basis increases the flow of blood into your hand and may prevent contracture of the hand.
If a patient does not get relief from non-surgical treatment than a Needle aponeurotomy procedure is performed. Needle aponeurotomy is a surgical procedure
which breaks down and divides the defected tissue in the palm and fingers.