Dupuytren's Disease is a condition that causes abnormal thickening of the tissue located between the skin and the tendons of the palm, known as the fascia. Dupuytren's Disease is a genetically inherited disease that occurs slowly - beginning with a small knot in the palm near the crease of the hand at the base of the ring and little fingers. It can also develop in the foot and around other fibrous tissue.
The thickening, which can also occur over the knuckles, may limit movement of one or more fingers. The knot may cause the fingers to bend into the palm and prevent the complete extension of the fingers. While the disease is usually painless, continued progression can result in the formation of a cord that makes placing the palm flat on an even surface difficult. And the fingers become drawn into the hand as a result of contracture of the fascia near the finger joints (known as Dupuytren's Contracture).
Those developing Dupuytren's Disease at a young age or those with a strong family history may experience more aggressive forms of the disease.
Dupuytren's Disease is seen far more frequently in men than women and generally begins to appear between the ages of 40 and 60. Genetically inherited, family history plays a large role in who is affected by the disease and to what degree.
While the severity of the condition would determine the best treatment option, generally initial treatment is nonsurgical and entails careful observation in order to determine the rate of progression. And while there is no permanent cure for Dupuytren's disease, surgical excision of the fibrous bands in the palm can temporarily alleviate the contracture causing the fingers to bend into the palm, restoring use of the fingers. A procedure known as Dupuytren's Contracture Needle Aponeurotomy Percutaneous Fasciotomy is also yielding positive results for sufferers.