Dupuytren's contracture

We will loosen the knots in the hand

Our hands are our most important tools. We think up the action and our fingers do it. When they have stiff movement, fishing out a key from your pocket and unlocking the front door is difficult. With Dupuytren’s contracture (Dupuytren’s disease), your fingers can no longer stretch out due to the disorder because they’re blocked by benign growths in the connecting tissue. Knots in the palm of your hand and scar-like strands in your fingers will develop. The fingers will become crooked.

At Schoen Clinic, we employ experienced specialists in hand surgery. They will be responsible for your surgical care, but they also offer successful minimally invasive alternatives.

Causes & symptoms

What do we understand by Dupuytren’s contracture?

Dupuytren’s contracture is an abnormal change of the connecting tissue in the hand that often occurs in the over-50s.
It causes an increased formation knotty and strand-like connecting tissue in the palm of your hand and in your fingers. These knots and strands can be felt under the skin and can thicken and pile together. This distorts the affected fingers into a bent position towards your palm. They can then no longer move without limitation.

Dupuytren’s contracture: causes of the disease

The exact causes of Dupuytren’s contracture are still unknown. Alongside hereditary predisposition, external factors such as injuries are discussed as potential triggers. The impact of growth hormones is also assumed to be a cause. The disorder seems to occur more frequently in diabetics, smokers and people who consume excessive amounts of alcohol.

Symptoms: what are the signs of Dupuytren’s contracture?

Dupuytren’s contracture most commonly occurs in the little finger and ring finger, and rarely in other fingers. Both hands are affected in 70 to 80% of cases.

At the beginning, knotty and strand-like lumps will be felt in the layer between the skin and the flexor tendons. These are typically not painful. As the disorder progresses, these growths expand further and cause crooked fingers that can no longer be stretched out to their full extent. Tissue regrowth may be affected, as well as your nerves and vessels, leading to sensitivity and circulatory disorders. But the main issue is the reduced ability to stretch out your hand.
Dupuytren’s contracture can progress over several months and years, so this will start to cause problems for you over time in terms of carrying out basic tasks.


Diagnosis: how we determine Dupuytren’s contracture

An experienced consultant often identifies Dupuytren’s contracture from a first glance. Typical finger crookedness, in connection with tests for finger movement, the frequency of the disorder in the family and probing of the hand, are immediate indications of this disorder.

On the right track with Dupuytren’s contracture

First, our specialists have an in-depth conversation with you. It’s particularly important to know how common Dupuytren’s contracture is in your family. We also need to know whether you have any other disorders, such as diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, liver failure or nerve constriction. We then examine your hand and fingers for lumps, while also seeing how much your skin can stretch and how well you can move your fingers. In addition, we check whether you suffer from any sensitivity disorders and for any disruptions to your circulatory system. Last but not least, we conclude whether you suffer from shrivelled and hardened scarring, arthritis of the finger joints, congenital finger crookedness or a so-called “trigger finger” (stenosing tenosynovitis).