Dupuytren's Contracture - Symptoms

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What are the symptoms and signs of a Dupuytren's contracture?

A Dupuytren's contracture initially may cause only a minor painless lump in the palm of the hand near the base of the finger(s). A Dupuytren's contracture most commonly affects the ring (fourth) finger, but it can affect any finger. A Dupuytren's contracture can also affect one or both hands.

As a Dupuytren's contracture progresses, it can lead to an inability to fully extend the affected finger from the flexed position. This can result in a loss of normal grasping.

A Dupuytren's contracture is seldom associated with much, if any, pain unless the affected fingers are inadvertently forcefully hyperextended.

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Comment from: Nancy, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 18

I'm 73, and first noticed a thickening in the palm of my left hand. Much to my surprise, when massaging the spot hard, it changed in form over several months. I didn't know it was the start of Dupuytren's contractures. In November of 2012, I noticed clicking in my fingers, and actually heard it, especially in the middle finger of my left hand and second finger of my right hand. This changed after several days, and I ended up having trouble bending those fingers. It was worse in the morning and I 'd try to remember to go to sleep with my hands open to avoid that. With a hot morning bath, I could limber up the fingers and not notice it during the day. Now I have some pain, especially in the right finger, and I no longer can straighten it out because I have too much pain in my knuckle. It has a slight, permanently bent look. Sometimes when my left hand finger gets folded, I can't open it, and then I can. I can see the possibility of this happening as it progresses. A nurse friend has the same condition and she gave me the name for it, as I knew it was different than my aunt's severe arthritis with deformed feet and hands. My dad has this condition in one finger and never knew what it was--that generation didn't talk much about those kinds of things.

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Comment from: jstkd4, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 18

I have Dupuytren's in both hands. The problem I have is that I have a lot of pain in both hands. The knuckles on my index finger and my thumb are very painful. I can't actually bend my index fingers. They stay straight while the other three fingers of my hand want to bend. My doctor just says there is nothing to do. I am not convinced that the knuckle pain is from Dupuytren's.

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