Dupuytren’s Contracture is a condition that mostly affects the little and the ring fingers though it can affect any finger. It causes a thickening and tightening that is abnormal in the elastic tissue beneath the palm and fingers. The skin on the palm starts to appear dimpled or as if it has nodules or knots. The causes of Dupuytren’s Contracture is not well established, but research already conducted concludes that there is no link between the overuse of the hand and the condition.
Some of the likely contributors to the condition include diabetes, smoking, seizures, old age, and specific genes. Several symptoms are associated with this condition which includes the following:
1. Thickening of the skin on the palm of your hand
Among the first symptoms of Dupuytren’s contracture hand deformity is a thickening of the skin on the palms of your hands. It causes a thickening of the tissues’ fibrous layer. The name of this layer is the fascia.
2. Puckered or dimpled skin
As the fascia continues to thicken, lumps or nodules usually form under the skin of the palm. The progression of this tightening leads to the dimples or pits on the palm’s surface as Dupuytren’s Contracture tries to pull the skin that overlies your palm.
3. A firm lump of tissue on the palm
When you are suffering from Dupuytren’s Contracture, the palm of your hands may start developing one or more lumps. These small lumps are referred to as nodules, grow, and get fixed or attached to your palms. When the lumps start forming, they are generally tender, but as time progresses and the condition becomes stronger, the bump starts becoming hard. There are cases where you will find pits or deep indentations deep just next to the nodules.
4. Pain or sensitivity
There are cases where you may feel mild pain, mostly in scenarios where the lumps that have developed begin to feel tender and sore. With time, this discomfort goes away. The lump is, in most cases, sensitive to touch but not painful.
5. Cords of tissue forming under the skin
As Dupuytren’s Contracture continues to grow, the lumps or the nodules that had initially formed on the palms start to thicken. This thickening leads to their contraction, leading to the formation of tough cords of tissue that are dense under the skin. The contraction forms a tight pull to the tissues, making the finger involved to curve inwards towards the palm of your hand. This curving, in turn, restricts and tethers the finger or thumb from spreading out or straightening.
6. Fingers that don’t straighten
The last among the symptoms of Dupuytren’s contracture hand deformity is the fingers that do not straighten. When the cords of tissues have formed under your palm’s skin, the tissues tighten with a finger or two being pulled inwards towards the palms. The two fingers most affected by this restriction of spreading are the little and the ring fingers. The thumb and the other fingers can also be affected. As the bend on the finger progresses, it becomes rather difficult to straighten the affected finger fully. Simple tasks that you were once used to do become difficult, like holding objects that are large and pocketing your hands.
In some cases, patients suffering from this condition may also develop symptoms like the thickening of tissues in their feet (Ledderhose disease) or their penis (Peyronie’s disease).
If you suffer any of these symptoms, please seek medical attention, so that a doctor can properly examine you to determine the extent of the condition and the treatment to administer.