Having full use of your hands is a critical part of being able to live your life to the fullest. Dupuytren’s disease can severely limit your ability to perform everyday activities. TriHealth Orthopedic & Sports Institute and Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine have a proven track record for excellence when it comes to both nonsurgical and surgical hand treatments for conditions like Dupuytren’s disease.
Dupuytren’s disease develops when thick cords of tissue develop under the skin of the palm. The condition usually progresses over long periods of time. In advanced cases, the tightened tissue actually causes an involuntary contraction of the fingers, pulling them down toward the palm. For this reason, the condition is also referred to as Dupuytren’s contracture.
Dupuytren’s disease causes
The exact cause of Dupuytren’s disease is unknown, but the disorder is more common in people with:
- Alcohol abuse
Dupuytren’s disease symptoms
The most common symptoms of Dupuytren’s contracture include:
- Contractions of the two fingers farthest from the thumb
- Inability to fully extend the fingers
- Nodules on the skin of the palm
- Pitted skin on the skin of the palm
- Tight cords of tissue on the palm that resemble tendons
These symptoms may appear in both hands, but are usually worse in one hand. Finger contracture can prevent people from gripping objects, shaking hands, putting on gloves and performing other activities that require full finger extension.
Dupuytren’s disease treatment
Nonsurgical therapies are the most common approaches to treating Dupuytren’s contracture. These treatments may include:
- Corticosteroid injections
- Physical therapy
- Therapeutic needling
In severe cases, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove the Dupuytren’s nodules or the tightened cords of fibrous skin beneath the palm. This procedure is sometimes referred to as Dupuytren’s release surgery or fasciectomy.
Dupuytren’s disease risk factors
Certain risk factors can increase your chances of developing Dupuytren’s contracture. The most common include:
- Family history—the condition may run in families.
- Age—people over the age of 50 are more likely to develop the condition.
- Gender—men are affected more often than women.
- Ancestry—people descended from northern Europe are more prone to the disease.
- Disease—alcohol abuse, diabetes and epilepsy can increase your risk of Dupuytren’s disease.
Dupuytren’s disease prevention
There is no single way to prevent this condition. It usually develops over a long period of time. The best way to slow its progression is to tell your doctor if you develop nodules, pitting or cords on the palm. Your doctor may recommend:
- Stretches for the fingers and tendons of the hand
- Physical therapy to maintain hand strength and mobility
- Splinting to facilitate finger extension
Make an appointment
Hand conditions like Dupuytren’s disease aren’t just uncomfortable. They can limit your ability to perform daily activities. The first step toward effective treatment is an accurate diagnosis. Learn more or make an appointment with an orthopedic specialist: Call TriHealth at 513 246 2300 or our orthopedic partner, Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, at 513 961 HAND or 513 961 4263.