Dupuytren's Disease | Dupuytren's Contracture

If you've been noticing a gradual bending of your fingers that reminds you of arthritis, you might be experiencing a deformation process known as Dupuytren's contracture. This unsightly deforming of the hand manifests over time. But, when it comes to full fruition, you've lost the ability to straighten one or more of your fingers. While this disease isn't by any means dangerous, it can make life's activities inconvenient, difficult, and in some cases impossible.

What is Dupuytren's disease?

Dupuytren's disease, also known as Dupuytren's contracture, is a hand deformity. It happens over the course of years, and is a result of the aging process for many. In most cases, this disease process manifests as the inability to fully straighten your ring finger and pinky finger. If not treated, you'll experience a noticeable decrease in the quality of your life, because you may lose the ability to grasp objects. And the simple act of outstretching your hand fully may also become an impossibility.

Losing any kind of hand function negatively impacts your life in surprising ways. You may find it difficult to cook meals, to play a musical instrument, to work in your garden, to use a pen or pencil for the simple act of writing-the list goes on and on. Luckily, there's effective treatment available.

What causes Dupuytren's disease?

This hand deformity occurs when tissues that lie beneath your palm begin to form knots. These knots of tissue eventually come together to create a cord which pulls those fingers toward the palm, resulting in bent fingers that can no longer straighten. The reason for this knotting of the tissue is unknown. Doctors have ruled out injury or trauma to the area as a primary cause. They've also ruled out occupational hazards as a causal factor. In fact, most doctors don't understand the root cause of this disease. Luckily, they do have methods of treatment.

What puts you at risk for Dupuytren's disease?

Dupuytren's disease symptoms

If you're wondering whether or not you have Dupuytren's, check to see if the following symptoms resonate:

Diagnosis of Dupuytren's disease

As with any disease process, the sooner you know you have it the better, for early treatment is always best. As soon as you have an inclination that you might be experiencing this hand deformation, book an appointment with our expert hand surgeon Dr. Eubanks to receive a proper diagnosis.

Self-diagnosis is also a possibility. You can do this by doing what's known as the tabletop test. Simply place the palm of your hand flat on a table. Can you flatten your hand? If not, you're a prime candidate for Dupuytren's. However, because symptoms show up in different ways for everyone, receiving a diagnosis from a professional like Dr. Eubanks is recommended.

If you're wondering how Dr. Eubanks will go about diagnosing Dupuytren's disease, the process will look like this:

Treatment for Dupuytren's Disease

Treatment for Dupuytren's disease is an individual one based on the following:

The primary forms of treatment for Dupuytren's disease are:

For mild cases of Dupuytren's, but where those nodules are causing pain, steroid injections are the best form of treatment.

Enzyme injections are a modern form of therapy for Dupuytren's contracture. They involve injecting enzymes into the palm of the hand which then break up the nodules. Once the nodules are broken up, Dr. Eubanks will be able to snap the cord (typically the following day), which will allow the fingers to straighten once again.

If your case is a severe one, surgery may be the best course of treatment. This will involve an incision in the palm of your hand to remove those nodules of tissue.

If you've been diagnosed with Dupuytren's disease, don't worry. It's not a dangerous disease. With a bit of help from Dr. Eubanks, you'll regain hand function and return to the quality of life and activity you deserve!

Our Surgeon Specializing in Dupuytren's Disease | Dupuytren's Contracture

Image of Dr. Ryan Eubanks, Hand, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon
  • Ryan Eubanks, DO
  • Hand, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon
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