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?
American Association of Hand Surgery
Web site: http://www.handsurgery.org/public/ (click on Dupuytren's Contracture)
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Web site: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/ (click on the hand, then on Dupuytren's Contracture)