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Dupuytren's Contracture

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Dupuytren's contracture facts

  • A Dupuytren's contracture is a localized scar tissue formation in the palm.
  • The precise cause of a Dupuytren's contracture is not known.
  • A Dupuytren's contracture is sometimes inherited.
  • A Dupuytren's contracture can limit extension of the affected finger.
  • The treatment of a Dupuytren's contracture depends on the severity and the underlying condition of the affected individual. Treatments include stretching, heat, ultrasound, local cortisone injection, surgical procedures, and collagen injection.

What is a Dupuytren's contracture?

A Dupuytren's contracture is a localized formation of scar tissue around the tendons that flex the fingers beneath the skin of the palm of the hand. The scarring accumulates in a tissue (palmar fascia) that normally covers the tendons that pull the fingers to grip. As a Dupuytren's contracture progresses, more of the fascia becomes thickened and shortened. Dimpling and puckering of the skin over the area eventually occurs and ultimately can make it impossible to fully extend the hand (as in laying it flat on a tabletop).

How fast does a Dupuytren's contracture develop?

A Dupuytren's contracture varies in its rate of progression from minor skin puckering for many years to rapid contracture (fixed flexed position) of fingers.

What are the causes and risk factors of a Dupuytren's contracture?

The precise cause of a Dupuytren's contracture is not known. However, it is known that it occurs more frequently in patients with diabetes mellitus, seizure disorders (epilepsy), and alcoholism.

A Dupuytren's contracture can be inherited. In medical terms, the inherited form of a Dupuytren's contracture is transferred in the family as a so-called autosomal dominant trait with incomplete penetrance and partial sex-limitation. This means that the gene for a Dupuytren's contracture is not on an X or Y chromosome (sex chromosome) but on one of the other 44 chromosomes. Consequently, one version of the gene is enough to cause the disorder (it is dominant), but not everyone who has the gene has the disorder (the gene is not fully penetrant), and the disorder is most frequent in males (the gene expression is partially limited to males).

Typically, a Dupuytren's contractures occur in males over the age of 50.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/16/2014

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Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/dupuytren_contracture/article.htm

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