What is Dupuytren's contracture?
Dupuytren's contracture (also called Dupuytren's disease) is an abnormal thickening of the skin in the palm of your hand at the base of your fingers. This thickened area may develop into a hard lump or thick band. Over time, it can cause 1 or more fingers to curl (contract), or pull in toward your palm.
The ring and little fingers are most commonly affected. In many cases, both hands are affected.
Symptoms of Dupuytren's contracture
Each person’s symptoms may vary. Symptoms may include:
- Not being able to lay your hand flat on a table, palm down (called the tabletop test)
- One or more small, tender lumps (nodules) in the palm. Over time, the tenderness usually goes away.
- The nodules may thicken and contract or tighten. This can cause thick bands of tissue under the skin in the palm of the hand.
- Pits or grooves in the skin compressed by the contracted finger. These areas can become very sore and can lead to skin loss if they don’t heal properly.
- Fingers are pulled forward
- Your hand is not able to work as well
The symptoms of Dupuytren's contracture may look like other health problems. Always see your health care provider for a diagnosis.
Diagnosis and testing for Dupuytren's contracture
Your provider will examine your hand. He or she will test the flexibility and feeling in your thumb and fingers. Your grip and pinch strength may also be tested.
Your provider will measure and record the locations of nodules and bands on your palm. Using a special tool, he or she will measure how much your fingers are curling or contracting. Range of motion in your fingers may also be measured.
All of these measurements will be used to see if the disease gets any worse. They can also be used to see if treatment is working.