Nodules and long cords form beneath the skin in your hand. These are hard and inflexible, so you can’t straighten one or more fingers. Eventually your fingers bend towards the palm of your hand, which can limit what you can do at home and work.
Dupuytren's contracture is a common condition affecting around 1 in 20 people in the UK. It’s six times more common in men than women and more common in older people.
There’s no cure, but it can be treated.
Your doctor may offer you an injection to weaken the tissue that's keeping your fingers bent, or they can be surgically straightened.
Left untreated it tends to get worse, but only a small number of people need surgery.
Your GP should be able to give you an accurate diagnosis after asking you some questions and a careful examination of both hands.
No other tests or investigations are likely to be necessary. Your GP will consider other possible causes of your problem, such as a callus, ganglion or trigger finger.
The exact cause of Dupuytren's contracture is still unknown, but it's been linked to:
You may have none of these, but still be affected by Dupuytren's disease.
In the early stages of the disease, Dupuytren's contracture treatment can’t usually help. If you're treated, you'll often need treatment again sometime later.
The main treatment options are:
As with all surgery, there are risks and possible complications. Your consultant will carefully explain these.