Dupuytren’s Disease causes a characteristic nodular change to the connective tissue of the palm. Nodules and cords of thickened connective tissue form in the palm and the palmar aspects of the fingers. Typically this starts along the ulnar side (pinky side) of the palm, and may progress to the radial side (thumb side). The nodules may be painful, but most troubling are the cords of disease, which grow into the skin and soft tissue of the fingers, and pull them down into flexion. Fingers are left curled into the palm, and function of the hand is compromised, along with cosmetic appearance.
This condition most commonly affects those with a Northern European or Anglo ancestry, though it has been observed in most ethnicities. This also tends to strike more men than women, and is most common in ages 40 – 60. While the cause of Dupuytren’s has been the subject of much research, there is little evidence to prove that trauma to the palm, other medical conditions, or medications directly cause this condition.
Surgical excision of the abnormal and disabling Dupuytren’s cords can be performed to restore function and appearance to the hand.