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Information from Your Family Doctor

Dupuytren's Disease: What You Should Know


Am Fam Physician. 2007 Jul 1;76(1):90.

See related article on Dupuytren's disease.

What is Dupuytren's disease?

Dupuytren's (du-pwe-TRAHZ) disease is when skin on your hand thickens and shortens. A small, hard bump will appear on your palm. The bump doesn't hurt, but it will get bigger, and it may start to pull some of your fingers toward your palm (see drawing).

The disease usually affects your ring or little fingers. It can happen on both hands, but one hand is usually worse than the other.

If you can't lay your fingers flat, you may have Dupuytren's disease.

How is it treated?

Sometimes you don't need treatment. Your doctor may give you a shot in the bump on your palm.

You may need surgery if the disease gets worse and you have problems using your hand.

How can I prevent it?

There is no way to prevent the disease. Quitting smoking, drinking less alcohol, and controlling diabetes might stop it from getting worse.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor

American Association of Hand Surgery

Web site: (click on Dupuytren's Contracture)

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Web site: (click on the hand, then on Dupuytren's Contracture)

Mayo Clinic

Web site:


This handout is provided to you by your family doctor and the American Academy of Family Physicians. Other health-related information is available from the AAFP online at

This information provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. Talk to your family doctor to find out if this information applies to you and to get more information on this subject.

Copyright © 2007 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP. Contact for copyright questions and/or permission requests.

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