Common Conditions

Dupuytren’s Disease / Contracture

dupuytrens disease demonstration
dupuytrens disease demonstration

Dupuytren’s disease is a condition which commonly affects the soft tissues / fascia within the palm of the hand. Tissue under the skin thickens, contributing to stiffness in the fingers and hand.

Dupuytren’s disease comes at various levels of severity and typically gets worse over time. In chronic stages, thickening and stiffness can contribute to the fingers becoming contracted or “stuck” in a bent position. The ring and little fingers are most commonly affected.

It most often impacts men and usually will develop in the 5th and 6th decades. Dupuytren’s contracture can also be triggered by a trauma to a hand such as a fracture. Treatment is usually necessary if the nodules are painful or if the hand contracture is causing functional difficulty.


How Can Our Hand Therapists Help?

There is currently no known cure for this condition, however there are a range of interventions available for reducing the impact of symptoms. Medical options such as surgical release of the thickened tissue or needle aponeurotomy are usually indicated when finger range of motion is impacted and hand function limited. Low dose radiation therapy is also an emerging option for early stage nodules.

A hand therapist can support you to monitor your symptoms by measuring finger joint angles over a period of time and formerly track any regression. We can also help direct you to an appropriate Adelaide hand surgeon / specialist for your specific problem. A hand therapist is preferably involved post-surgery to assist in the return of strength and available range of motion.

Interesting Fact

Dupuytren’s Disease is a connective tissue disorder with a large genetic influence, with the condition impacting 8.2% of the world’s population. It commonly occurs after the 5th decade of life.


Salari, N., Heydari, M., Hassanabadi, M. et al. (2020) The worldwide prevalence of the Dupuytren disease: a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research 15, 495, doi: 10.1186/s13018-020-01999-7

Examples of
Solutions to Try

While these are general examples, our hand therapists will help match solutions best suited to your condition and specific needs.

A face-to-face consultation will allow for thorough investigation.

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