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An Introduction to Dupuytren’s Disease

June 14, 2020

upuytren’s Disease, also known as Dupuytren’s Contracture, can be defined as a medicalcondition that affects the layer of fibrous tissue in the hands. This tissue layer is called the ‘fascia’. The fascia is what gives the hands its strength and grip. 


Dupuytren’s disease causes these tissues to become thick and tight. The thickening and tightening of these tissues causes the fingers to curl inwards towards the palm. 


The fascia is normally a very stretchy tissue. Dupuytren’s Contracture causes them to lose their elasticity and become rigid. As a result, it gets difficult to hold items and perform day to day activity as the motion is restricted and there may be pain as well.

Dupuytren’s Contracture

The word contraction is a medical term which is used to describe muscles that have become tense or tight. 


It usually occurs after the fascia develops tiny nodules. Thesenodules are what causes the muscles to become rigid. Hence, leading to Dupuytren’s Contracture. 


The disease is believed to be hereditary and can be worsened due to a number of factors including lifestyle choices. Sadly, there still isn’t much known about this condition. 

Complication

This disease can cause a number of complications for those who develop it. The tightening of muscles can cause problems with everyday functions. These involve the use of the hands including fingers.


Such everyday functions include:


  • Writing
  • Cooking
  • Typing
  • Handling tools

The condition is not always serious but in some cases one may lose mobility.

Signs and Symptoms

The first sign of Dupuytren’s Disease is the appearance of nodules in the palm. It may also appear as a thick bump. 


As the disease progresses, which may take a few years, a lack of motions starts to develop in the fingers. The most common fingers affected are the ring and pinky fingers. 


These become more and more rigid with the passage of time. The earliest signs of a contracture is the appearance of a‘pucker’ in the skin that is triangular in shape. This can be seen on the finger near the ‘Flexor Crease’.


Usually, Dupuytren’s Disease causes no pain. However, in the case of swelling of the tendons, there can be some pain. This disease originates in the palm before gradually making its way up to the fingers. It affects joint after joint.


Some people also complain of a slight itch due to the pull. However, the majority of the people affected by this disease do not experience any major pain in the beginning, which is why it often goes unnoticed until it has worsened.


 

 





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