What is Dupuytren's disease?
Dupuytren's (say "duh-pwee-TRAHNZ")
disease can change how your hand looks and may make it hard or impossible to
use one or more of your fingers.
The disease causes tissue under
the skin of the palm of your hand to thicken and shorten. This can pull and
bend the fingers in toward the palm. You may not be able to straighten them.
See a picture of a hand with
Dupuytren's disease .
The disease gets
worse slowly but rarely causes pain. You can treat it, but there is no cure. It
may only involve the palm and never affect your fingers, and you may never need
Dupuytren's disease occurs most often in people ages 50
and older. It often affects both hands and can sometimes affect the soles of
Dupuytren's disease is also called Viking's disease.
What causes Dupuytren's disease?
The cause of Dupuytren's disease is not known. It might be inherited,
because the disease tends to happen in families. The thickening of the tissue
may be related to alcoholism, smoking, or
What are the symptoms?
You may first see or feel a small lump in the
palm of your hand, usually near where your ring finger and small finger
As Dupuytren's disease gets worse, a fibrous cord may
develop in the tissue of the palm. The cord may extend to one or more fingers,
usually the ring or small finger. The cord may pull your finger toward your
palm. This is called Dupuytren's contracture.
At some point you
may not be able to move your fingers back or flatten your hand on a table. You
may find it hard or impossible to do things like put on gloves, wash your
hands, or pick up things.
The disease usually does not cause pain.
If you do have pain, it?s most likely when you first get the disease.
How is Dupuytren's disease diagnosed?
Your doctor will look for skin changes on your palm and feel for any
knots or a cord. He or she will ask you to move your hand, wrist, and fingers.
Your doctor will ask you questions about your family and your symptoms. Your
doctor also will ask you about smoking and alcohol use.
How is it treated?
The goal of treatment for
Dupuytren's disease is to keep your hand working as best as it can.
- When you first get the disease, your doctor may have you try finger stretches, a splint, or steroid shots.
- Some doctors are using a treatment called needle aponeurotomy to separate the tight cords in the palm using a needle.
- A medicine called collagenase (such as Xiaflex) may be injected to try to dissolve some of the tight tissue.
- Surgery may be recommended if you cannot straighten your fingers or pick things
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