Hand contracture, also known as dupuytren’s contracture, is a condition that affects the hand and fingers. It involves the thickening and tightening of the tissues in the palm of the hand, which can lead to the fingers curling inwards towards the palm, making it difficult to straighten them. This condition is named after the French anatomist Baron Guillaume Dupuytren, who first described it in 1831.
Dupuytren’s contracture is a progressive condition that typically begins with the formation of small nodules or lumps on the palm of the hand. Over time, these nodules can grow and form bands of tissue that can pull the fingers towards the palm and limit their movement. The condition usually affects the ring finger and little finger, but it can affect other fingers as well.
The exact cause of hand contracture is not fully understood. However, it is more common in men than women and tends to develop in people over the age of 50. It is also more common in people of European descent and those with a family history of the condition. There is some evidence to suggest that factors such as smoking and drinking alcohol may increase the risk of developing hand contracture.
In most cases, hand contracture is not a serious medical condition. However, it can make it difficult to perform everyday tasks such as grasping objects and holding onto things. In severe cases, it can lead to disability and loss of function in the affected hand.
Treatment for hand contracture depends on the severity of the condition. In mild cases, no treatment may be necessary. However, in more advanced cases, surgery may be required to remove the affected tissue and restore function to the hand. Other treatments may include injections of medication to help break down the tissue, or the use of splints or braces to help keep the fingers straight.
If you suspect that you may have hand contracture, it is important to see a doctor. They can perform a physical examination and recommend the most appropriate treatment for your individual case. With proper treatment, most people with hand contracture can expect to regain function in their hand and fingers and return to their everyday activities.