specializing in advanced surgical care of hand, wrist, and elbow injuries and conditions

Dupuytrens Disease

Dupuytrens disease is an abnormal thickening of the tissue beneath the skin known as the fascia. Initially there may be firm bumps in the palm along with cords (thick lines) which may travel into one or more than one finger. The cord may cause your fingers to bend down toward the palm and you may not be able to straighten the involved fingers. It is often referred to as Dupuytrens Contracture.


Dupuytren contracture is more common in men, people over the age of 40, along with individuals of northern European descent. There is no strong evidence that it is related to any specific jobs or from a previous hand injury.

Signs and Symptoms

Early signs include thick firm bumps under the skin and dimpling or puckering of the skin in the palm and eventually thick cords may develop. The fingers may begin to bend into the palm and you may notice difficulty placing your hand flat on a surface, shaking hands, and putting on gloves. It is hard to know how quickly the disease will progress. Some individuals remain with thick cords and nodules in the palm while others develop severely bent fingers.


If you are suspicious of this problem you should be evaluated by a hand surgeon. In the early stages if hand function is good and there is no significant hand deformity, only observation may be needed. However, in more advanced cases your hand surgeon will discuss appropriate options which may include injectable medicine into the hand or surgery to remove the diseased tissue. The goal for treatment is always to regain maximal hand function. In some cases full correction of the deformity may not be possible. Before the treatment your surgeon will discuss risks and realistic goals.

Hand therapy will likely be recommended following treatment in an effort to optimize your hand function and ultimate outcome.

If you feel you may have dupuytrens contracture contact Dr. Casey Burke at Hand Surgery Associates for an evaluation and to discuss your options at (570) 483-4603.