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Dupuytren’s Contracture Care and Treatment

Why Choose Treatment for Dupuytren’s Contracture at University of Colorado Hospital?

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UCH offers the only Hand Center in the region that is part of an academic medical center.

Our doctors have written textbook chapters on hand diseases, including Dupuytren’s contracture, and contribute to research involving hand disorders.

Our doctors hold Certificates of Added Quality in Surgery of the Hand, and practice hand surgery full time.

What is Dupuytren’s Contracture?

Dupuytren’s contracture, a rare hand deformity, occurs when the connective tissue under the skin of the palm thickens and scars.

As a result, one or more fingers is pulled into a bent position. While the affected fingers can bend in a normal way, they can’t be straightened. This can affect everyday activities.

Dupuytren’s contracture generally is not painful. It affects men more than women, and is more common in older adults. It most commonly affects Caucasian people of Northern European heritage.

Patient Education

Living with Dupuytren’s Contracture

If you have Dupuytren’s Contracture, you may not require treatment. The disease usually progresses slowly and has little impact on your ability to use your hands. Your doctor might do check-ups every few years if you aren’t feeling pain or discomfort.

 

In some cases, however, Dupuytren’s Contracture can make it difficult to perform functions with your hand. As the condition progresses, it can reduce your ability to open your hand. For people who experience pain and disability, surgery is the best option. It can improve hand function, but doesn’t necessarily prevent the condition from recurring.

 

Getting a Second Opinion about Dupuytren’s Contracture

You should be seen by a doctor with special training in hand surgery if you experience:

  • Hand pain
  • Changes to the skin on your palms
  • Any other signs and symptoms that concern you

Tests and Treatments

Diagnosing Dupuytren’s Contracture

A physical examination is the only way to diagnose Dupuytren’s Contracture.

 

Treatments

Surgery is the only recommended treatment to remove the diseased tissue that is causing the contracture.

Dupuytren’s Contracture Research

A Dupuytren’s research study underway at University of Colorado Hospital compares the functional outcomes of patients who have Dupuytren's tissue removed surgically. The project specifically evaluates how patients' hand function changes depending on how many joints were involved in the contracture.