Dupuytren’s disease is a disorder of the hand, where the palmar fascia under the skin forms bumps or bands that can cause contractures in the fingers. The palmar fascia is a layer of tissue in the palm of the hand that holds the skin in place. As the condition progresses, the band may begin to pull the finger toward the palm, creating a contracture – a finger that is permanently bent and cannot be straightened back out. This most commonly affects the ring and small fingers, but can happen to any finger, including the thumb. The cause of Dupuytren’s is unknown, but there is likely a genetic component.
Dupuytren’s disease is diagnosed in the office after thorough history and physical exam by your hand surgeon. Dupuytren’s is often mistaken for trigger finger. X-rays are usually taken to rule out other problems. Rarely, an MRI may be ordered for further examination of the soft tissue.
Your hand surgeon will usually attempt to identify possible risk factors for Dupuytren’s disease such as: 1. Male sex, 2. Genetics 3. Alcoholism 4. Medications
Surgical treatment of Dupuytren’s disease is called partial palmar fasciectomy. It involves making incisions over the involved area to expose and remove the tissue that is causing the contractures.
Splinting is done after surgery to help keep the fingers straight while the scars are healing. This may include a period of splinting only at night while using the hand during the day. Therapy may be required to help regain mobility in the fingers.
**Disclaimer: Treatment recommendations may vary depending on your true diagnosis. Always follow the recommendations of your orthopedic provider.