Dupuytren’s Contracture

What Is Dupuytren’s Contracture?

Dupuytren’s contracture is a hereditary disease that causes thickening and tightening in some of the tissue within the palm of the hand. While this condition usually does not cause pain, it can cause a dense cord in the palm of the hand that makes it difficult or impossible to straighten the fingers. The process tends to start slowly and progress. It may start as small firm nodules in the palm and later progress to dense cords that cause contractures of the fingers.


  • Curled fingers (especially the small and ring fingers)
  • Grip weakness
  • Nodules in the palm of the hand


There are nonsurgical and surgical treatments options available for Dupuytren's contracture. Both treatment types are performed by our hand and wrist specialist at Orthopaedic Specialists. 

Nonsurgical Treatment

When a nonsurgical treatment option is chosen, a collagenase is injected into the palm of the hand that dissolves the fibrous cord of the Dupuytren’s contracture and allows the finger(s) to straighten after disruption of the cord. This injection can be performed in the office and is simpler than undergoing open surgery. The recovery seems to be faster, although recurrences may occur.

Surgical Treatment

Traditional open surgery involves a large open incision in order to remove the cord from the palm that is causing contracture of the fingers. The healing process can be very slow and difficult for some patients.