If you have fingers that look as if they bend permanently toward your palm, there’s a strong chance you have Dupuytren’s Contracture, a rare type of hand disorder that tends to take a number of years to develop. Many individuals mistake this condition for trigger finger, but the main difference is that Dupuytren’s Contracture affects the tissue while trigger finger involves the tendons. If you’re wondering “Is my finger permanently bent?” then continue reading to learn more about this condition.
Dupuytren’s Contracture has many names, some of which are:
- Vikings disease
- Contraction of palmar fascia
- Dupuytren disease
- Dupuytren’s contracture
- Familial palmar fibromatosis
- Palmar fascial fibromatosis
- Palmar fibromas
This condition causes the layers of tissues that lay beneath the skin on the palm of the hand to begin to form knots. These knots thicken and can cause one or more of the fingers to bend, creating difficulty to perform normal, day-to-day tasks such as putting on gloves or grasping larger objects.
In most cases, only the ring finger and the pinky are affected. In very rare cases, though, the condition can also affect the thumb and the index finger. An interesting fact is Dupuytren’s Contracture tends to affect older men who have a Northern European heritage.
What Is the Cause of Dupuytren’s Contracture?
Currently, the cause of Dupuytren’s Contracture is unknown. Researchers have not been able to find any evidence that it is related to hand injuries or any occupations that have repetitive stress issues from vibration. However, they have found a number of factors that can increase the risk of developing the condition.
- Men, as mentioned before, are the most likely to develop the contracture, and it typically affects those who are 50 and over.
- The condition also tends to run in families, indicating it could be genetic.
- Those who have diabetes are also at an elevated risk.
- Smoking can increase the risk of developing Dupuytren’s Contracture, as can alcohol.
Is My Finger Permanently Bent?
Once your fingers are bent from Dupuytren’s Contracture, it will no longer be possible to straighten them back to how they were before. Here at Arora Hand Surgery, we understand that this fact may be hurtful and jarring to hear.
However, we want to assure you that there are ways to reduce the effects of this condition through Dupuytren’s Contracture hand therapy, collagenase injection (a special enzyme that can soften and weaken larger lumps), needle injections that break up the hard tissue, or even Dupuytren’s Contracture hand surgery.
Speaking with a doctor is the first step in understanding how to proceed so that the condition can be reduced or even eliminated for several years.
Talking with a doctor.
You will want to speak with a hand specialist about this condition, so refer to your primary care physician who will then refer you to a local specialist. A hand specialist such as Dr. Avery Arora will want to know more about your medical history and how you have been dealing with the condition. Some questions Dr. Arora would ask would be:
- Is a history of Dupuytren’s Contracture in your family?
- Have you tried any Dupuyren’s Contracture treatments?
- What medications are you taking?
- When did the symptoms first start?
- Are you experiencing pain?
- Has the condition been getting gradually worse?
- How does it affect your lifestyle?
Here at Arora Hand Surgery, we care about your health. If you are feeling finger, hand, wrist, or elbow pain, visit Dr. Avery Arora, Michigan’s top hand surgeon, at one of his southeast Michigan offices located in West Bloomfield, Warren, Macomb Township, or Howell.