Dupuytren’s contracture is a conditions that gradually develops over time. The tissue beneath the skin of your palm is affected by this condition. Tissue knots accumulate beneath the skin, eventually forming a strong cord capable of pulling your fingers into a bent posture.
The affected fingers are unable to fully straighten, making routine tasks like placing your hand in your pocket, putting on gloves, and shaking hands more difficult.
Dupuytren’s contracture impacts daily activities in the later stages of the condition and is generally common in males of Northern European heritage. There are various modalities of treatment available for the management of the conditions once the condition progresses.
Dupuytren’s contracture may present as nodules or bumps in the hand which may stay without changing for a long while. The lumps are generally firm and stuck to the skin of the palm. Skin can seem thicker and puckered. You may sometimes also see little pits next to the nodules. The nodules gradually progress to form cords in the palm and extend into the fingers and they may sometimes be mistaken as tendons to one or more fingers. Once significantly bent this interferes with day to day activities. In the initial phases this can be managed non operatively. As they progress they pull the fingers into the palm and this makes it difficult to straighten the fingers and may require surgical intervention. Lumps and cords can develop on the soles of the feet (plantar fibromatosis) or the genital location in men (Peyronie’s disease). Occasionally, the disease will cause thickening on top of the knuckles called a knuckle pad (or Garrod’s pad).
If you do notice lumps in your hand its sensible to get it examined by a hand surgeon and if its dupuytren’s contracture then your doctor can guide you through the various non operative or operative options currently available to manage your stage of the condition. It is important to be aware that even with the treatment the disease is nor curable. However with the right hand surgeon and hand therapist , you will be advised on realistic goals, managing the disease and they will ensure you understand the disease and the short and long term expectations.