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Definition of Dupuytren contracture

Dupuytren contracture: A localized formation of scar tissue in the palm of the hand within a tissue (fascia) beneath the skin of the palm that normally covers the tendons that pull the fingers into a grip. As Dupuytren's contracture progresses, more of the fascia becomes thickened and shortened. Dimpling and puckering of the skin over the area eventually occurs. The precise cause of of Dupuytren's contracture is not known. Causes include diabetes mellitus, seizure disorders (epilepsy), and alcoholism. It also can be inherited. Most patients with Dupuytren's contracture require only stretching exercises with heat application. When the palm is persistently sore with grasping, ultrasound treatments can be helpful. Sometimes local inflammation can be relieved with cortisone injection. For patients with significant fixed flexed posture (contracture) of the fingers from Dupuytren's contracture, injections of collagenase or surgical procedures can removed the scarred tissue to free the fingers.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=15603
Last Editorial Review: 8/28/2013

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