Dupuytren’s contracture is an inflammatory disease that is characterised by gentle thickening of deep connective tissue of the palm. Within the medical circle, this disorder is also referred to as Morbus Dupuytren (MD) or simply Dupuytren’s disease. The real cause behind the occurrence of this disorder still remains unknown though more than a century has passed since Baron Guillaume Dupuytren (1777-1835) presented his conclusions about the disease.
The inflamed portion or the tumour is generally seen in the flexible area around the base of the finger joints. The lesser critical versions of the disorder are those tumours that get initiated in the lower palm and spreads towards the wrist region. Such kind of tumours generally does not result in contraction.
In normal cases, the symptoms of Dupuytren’s contracture get spotted in the form of one or many small nodules within the palm. They are not hard to touch during the initial stages. But the real symptoms might have started long back, but might have gone unnoticed since they occur at a microscopic level. Such symptoms include changes with in the underlying skin tissues.
In the next stage of the disease, certain cords are developed along the tendons. Mostly, the disorder affects the fourth or the fifth finger, but in some cases, the nodules appear all over the palm. Typically Dupuytren’s disease tends to become stable momentarily, but the cords resume its growth gradually by degrees over a period of several years. Finally, when the cords get extremely thickened, the contractive forces make the affected finger bend towards the palm.
Increased tension in the interior palm area, environmental interferences, inherited inclinations etc are all cited as various reasons that result in Dupuytren’s disease. But, medical world is yet to explain the root reason. Though the root cause of the disorder remains mysterious, science has thrown light to its remedial treatments based on its symptoms.