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What You Need to Know About Dupuytren’s Contracture

Characterized by hard, rope-like cords, which form across a patient’s palm and fingers, Dupuytren’s contracture can limit a patient’s ability to flatten his or her hand and make everyday tasks difficult.

The cause of Dupuytren’s contracture is unknown but may be associated with biochemical factors within a patient’s hand. It is found more commonly in patients with Northern European heritage, patients over the age of 40, and in men more often than women.

“Over time, the cords can prevent patients from being able to straighten their fingers. Patients often have difficulty getting their hands into their pockets or into gloves,” explains Dr. Jonathan A. Uroskie, hand surgeon at Sports Medicine North. “Dupuytren’s itself is not painful, but patients often experience stiffness within the hand and affected fingers.”

For cords that have not caused finger contracture, treatment is rarely necessary. However, for cords with contracture, patients can benefit from release. Depending on the pattern of contracture, there may be several possible management options, including release of the cord with a needle (needle fasciotomy), enzyme injection (XIAFLEX), or traditional surgery. There is no single best treatment—each of these options is targeted to the specific patient and disease pattern.

If you have questions about treatment for Dupuytren’s contracture or would like to schedule an appointment with one of the hand doctors at Sports Medicine North, please call (978) 309-3066 or click here to request an appointment online.

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