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Dupuytren Contracture

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:


Dupuytren Contracture


Dupuytren contracture is a thickening and tightening of the tissue in the palm and fingers. It causes one or more fingers to be curled in toward the palm.

Dupuytren Contracture Scarring.

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The exact cause is not known. Genes and the environment may play a role.

Risk Factors

Dupuytren contracture is more common in people of Northern European descent. It is also more common in men and people over 40 years of age. Other things that may raise the risk are:

  • Having a family member who has it
  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Smoking
  • Manual labor
  • Vibration exposure at work
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Low body weight


The main problem is not being able to straighten a finger. The ring finger is usually affected first. The pinky finger is often second. The index and long finger may follow. This does not cause pain in most people. Other problems may be:

  • A bump in the palm near the bottom of a finger
  • Skin on the palm that looks pitted, thick, or dimpled
  • Loss of grip strength


The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. A hand exam will be done. This is usually enough to make the diagnosis.


There is no cure. Treatment may not be needed in people who are still able to use their fingers. Other people may need:


There are no known methods to prevent Dupuytren contracture.


Medicine may be injected into the area to:

  • Slow the disease and ease pain and swelling
  • Break down the thickened tissue


Some people may need surgery when initial care does not help or the problem is severe. Surgery may break up or remove the thickened tissue. This may help straighten the finger and help it to move. The problem may come back and surgery may need to be repeated.

A splint will need to be worn after surgery. Exercise may also be needed to help restore strength and movement.





  • Dupuytren disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/dupuytren-disease.
  • Dupuytren's disease. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/dupuytren-disease.


  • Teresa Briedwell, PT, DPT, OCS
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.