Dupuytren's contracture at Spire Harpenden Hospital

Removes affected tissue in your hand to help straighten out your fingers.

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Dupuytren's contracture is hand condition where your fingers are bent towards your palm and cannot be fully straightened. It occurs when tissue in your palm thickens and can pull your finger towards your palm. It may be treated by an operation to remove affected tissue.

Why you might need it

Dupuytren's contracture often runs in families and factors including smoking, diabetes and taking certain medications may trigger the condition, if you have the gene for it. The condition affects men more than women, with most cases in men over 50 and women over 60.

Your doctor may suggest surgery if other treatments have not helped you.

How much does Dupuytren's contracture cost at Spire Harpenden Hospital

We can't display a fee for this procedure just now. Please contact us for a quote.

Who will do it?

Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care. To us, that means you can choose the consultant you want to see, and when you want. They'll be with you every step of the way.

All of our consultants are of the highest calibre and benefit from working in our modern, well-equipped hospitals and clinics.

Our consultants have high standards to meet, often holding specialist NHS posts and delivering expertise in complex sub-specialty surgeries. Many of our consultants have international reputations for their research in their specialised field.

Before your treatment

You will have a formal consultation with a healthcare professional. During this time you will be able to explain your medical history, symptoms and raise any concerns that you might have.

We will also discuss with you whether any further diagnostic tests, such as scans or blood tests, are needed. Any additional costs will be discussed before further tests are carried out.

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Preparing for your treatment

We've tried to make your experience with us as easy and relaxed as possible.

For more information on visiting hours, our food, what to pack if you're staying with us, parking and all those other important practicalities, please visit our patient information pages.

Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.

The procedure

We understand that having surgery can potentially be a time of anxiety and worry. Our experienced and caring medical staff will be there for you every step of the way.

The usual operation for Dupuytren’s contracture is called palmar fasciectomy. It may be performed under general anaesthesia, which means you'll be asleep throughout the procedure, but it can also be done under regional anaesthesia, which means you'll be awake but your hand will be numb. The operation involves the removal of a section of the tissue (the fascia) under the skin on the palm of the hand.

During the procedure, a tourniquet is put around your upper arm to control bleeding during the operation. Your surgeon will then make incisions into your affected fingers and palm to remove the affected tissue and allow the fingers to relax into their normal position.

In most cases, the surgeon will stitch the cuts together to create a zig-zag scar that heals to allow the fingers to move freely. Sometimes stitches are not used because some surgical incisions heal better without them, causing less scarring and discomfort.

If your skin is also affected by Dupuytren’s disease, your surgeon may need to remove some of it. If this happens, you may need a skin graft, and skin will be taken from another part of the body to replace skin on your hand. This is a more complicated operation known as dermofasciectomy.

You will usually have local anaesthesia injected around the operation site so that your palm and fingers are numb and you will not be in pain immediately after the operation. The operation may take an hour or more, depending on how many fingers are involved.


A palmar fasciectomy operation can be performed as a day case, but you may need to spend one night in hospital. 

After this, you will be taken to your room or comfortable area where you can rest and recuperate until we feel you’re ready to go home.

While you are in hospital a physiotherapist will help you with exercises that will help speed up your recovery.

Pain relief

Once the local anaesthesia wears off, it is likely that you will have some pain or discomfort for a few days.

Recovery time

Your hand will probably be swollen and bruised after the operation, but this should settle down in two to three weeks.

The scar may be tender for a couple of months and the surrounding skin may become very dry. This can usually be relieved with a moisturiser.

Although surgery can help to improve the flexibility in your fingers, it does not stop the process of Dupuytren’s disease. The contracture may return and require another operation.

How your loved ones can help

Once you’re ready to be discharged, you’ll need to arrange a taxi, friend or family member to take you home as you won’t be able to drive until advised by your surgeon.

Looking after you

Even after you’ve been discharged, we’re still looking after you every step of the way. After Dupuytren's contracture surgery, we will provide you with all the appropriate medication, physiotherapy exercises, advice on what to do and not to do with your hand and follow-up support.

Typically your consultant will want to see you after your treatment to see how you’re doing. You might also be seen by a physiotherapist if your hand becomes stiff and painful. A follow up appointment will be made before you leave the hospital or clinic.

On rare occasions, complications following Dupuytren's contracture surgery can occur.

The chance of complications depends on the exact type of operation you are having and other factors such as your general health. We will talk to you about the possible risks and complications of having this procedure and how they apply to you.

If you have any questions or concerns, we’re ready to help.

Why choose Spire?

We are committed to delivering excellent individual care and customer service across our network of hospitals, clinics and specialist care centres around the UK. Our dedicated and highly trained team aim to achieve consistently excellent results. For us it's more than just treating patients, it's about looking after people.

Important to note

The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.

Procedures carried out at one of our Spire Healthcare Clinics will be performed under local anaesthetic.

How to get to us

We have excellent road links to the M1 and A1(M), and are five minutes from Harpenden train station.

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Spire Harpenden Hospital,

Ambrose Lane

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Important information about COVID-19 tests

COVID-19 testing or antibody tests are not available as a standalone service at Spire Harpenden Hospital.


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