Dupuytren’s Contracture is a hand disorder whose symptoms can appear a number of ways, ranging from severe flexion contractures (bending of the fingers) to simple toughening of the skin in the palm of the hand. In the most severe cases, the fingers are completely contracted, severely limiting hand function.
Dupuytren’s Contracture develops when the pre-tendinous cords in the hand begin to tighten and contract over the course of time. This contraction can take place rapidly or over an extended period. In the most severe cases, the fingers are completely contracted, causing hand function to be severely limited.
Dupuytren’s is commonly found within a certain ethnic type or in combination with several other health related issues such as diabetes. Genetically, the disease primarily affects men over 50 and especially those of Northern European descent.
Treatment for this disorder usually involves restoring the tissue length of the affected digits. This can often be accomplished by splinting the affected area to manage the condition. Hand therapy utilizing a variety of exercises and modalities usually coincides with the splinting to help restore function to the affected fingers.
In more severe cases, surgery is required to correct the condition typically followed by an aggressive hand therapy program to maintain the newly-released tissue and to increase range of motion, strength, and function to the affected hand.
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