Dupuytren’s Disease is an abnormal thickening of the tissue just beneath the skin. This thickening occurs in the palm and can extend into the fingers. Firm pits, nodules, and cords may develop that can cause the fingers to bend into the palm, which is a condition described as Dupuytren’s contracture. Although the skin may become involved in the process, the deeper structures—such as the tendons—are not directly involved. Occasionally, the disease will cause thickening on top of the finger knuckles (knuckle pads), or lumps or cords within the soles of the feet (plantar fibromatosis).
The initial lumps may produce discomfort that usually resolves, but Dupuytren’s disease is not typically painful. The disease may first be noticed because of difficulty placing the hand flat on an even surface, such as a tabletop. As the tissue thickens and fingers are drawn into the palm, one may notice increasing difficulty with activities such as washing, wearing gloves, shaking hands, and putting hands into pockets.
Treatment can range from doing nothing, to injections with later straightening of the finger, to even surgery. The best treatment for you depends on where the cords and nodules are and how bad the contracture is.