Dupuytren’s Contracture is a physical disorder of the hands which restricts complete straightening of the fingers. The tissue layer beneath the skin may get thickened into clots which pulls the fingers towards the palm. The condition may have a severe effect on the day-to-day activities of the patient, such as lifting objects. Also, known as Viking’s Disease, it is most commonly observed in the ring and little finger. The disorder has a slow level of progression and often does not cause any serious problems.
- Hereditary factors
- Excessive alcohol consumption may be a potential cause
- Seizures may result in such abnormalities
- Smoking increases the risk of developing the condition
- Presence of thick lumps or nodules under the skin of the palm. When pressed, these lumps may feel tender but do not cause pain
- Difficulty in grasping objects
- Fingers may be flexed towards the palm
- Limited range of motion
- Irritation and burning sensation may occur, in case of inflammation of the tendons in the hand
- Clinical evaluation of the affected hand may reveal the presence of Dupuytren’s Contracture
- Palpation may be done to assess the thickened tissue cords beneath the palm
- The doctor may check the range of motion of the hand
- Specific devices may be used to measure the level of contracture
- Enzyme Therapy – Injecting some specific enzymes (collagenase) into the soft tissues of the hand may provide relief and improve motion as it dissolves the thickened cords
- Corticosteroids may be injected to arrest the progression of the disease
- Needle Aponeurotomy – a needle may be used to puncture the thickened tissue cords and manual manipulation may be done to straighten the fingers.
- Surgical correction of the tissues may be required if the condition progresses rapidly. In the procedure, the doctor may remove the lumps and perform skin grafting to close the wound.
- Post-surgery, the patient may be advised to keep the affected hand elevated to prevent swelling.
- Physical therapy may help to restore strength and flexibility of the hand and fingers.