Dupuytren’s Contracture is often hereditary and originates in Scandinavia. It affects the palmar fascia, a layer of tissue that lies under the skin of the palm of the hand. This condition first appears as a nodule (painful or not) which subsequently develops into a cord-like structure (under the skin too). As the disease progresses, finger movements are getting increasingly restricted; at an advanced stage, the involved fingers become stuck in a bent position. All fingers can be affected, the most usual pattern being the ring finger first and the thumb last.
There are few treatment indications as long as there is no sign of permanent bending, unless pain is present. Two treatments can be used. First, the surgical removal of cords makes it possible to extend the fingers. This procedure can be carried out under local or regional anesthesia. Second, a drug can be injected into the cord to weaken it. This way, fingers can be moved back to their normal position. This treatment eliminates the need for surgery and speeds up recovery.