Duprytren's Contracture

Dupuytren's contracture is a disorder of the skin and underlying tissue on the palm side of the hand. Thick, scar-like tissue forms under the skin of the palm and may extend into the fingers, pulling them toward the palm and restricting motion. The condition usually develops in mid-life and has no known cause (though it has a tendency to run in families).

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Surgery is the only treatment for Dupuytren's contracture. Dr. Morse may perform zig-zag incisions across the band of tissue, creating small skin flaps. After surgery, the repositioned flaps expand like an accordion, allowing freer finger motion.

An operation to releive Dupuytren's contracture must be done very precisely, since the nerves that supply the hand and fingers are often tightly bound up in the abnormal tissue. In some cases, skin grafts are also needed to replace tightened and puckered skin.

The results of the surgery will depend on the severity of the condition. You can usually expect significant improvement in function, particularly after physical therapy, and a thin, fairly inconspicuous scar.