What is Dupuytren’s Contracture?
Dupuytren’s is a condition which affects the hands and fingers due to thickening of the “Connective tissue”. This thickening causes the finger(s) to contract, causing it/them to bend towards the palm. The cause of the contracture is unknown but it seems to run in families. This would suggest there is a strong genetic component to it. This condition seems more common in Northern European countries and is associated with diabetes epilepsy and alcohol dependence syndrome.
Small lumps, which can be painful, develop on the palm of the hand. As the disease progresses, it causes the tendons which bend the fingers to shorten. The ring finger is typically the most commonly affected finger followed by the little finger. In severe cases, the middle finger can be also affected.
Orthotic treatment is usually carried out after tendon release, in the form of:
• A Resting Wrist Hand Orthosis, to avoid the scar tissue from contracting. The orthosis is worn all day for few weeks and then only at night to maintain the stretch.