Tanya Coats Occupational Therapy

Treating Dupuytren’s Contracture With Hand Therapy

Dupuytren's Contracture

Dupuytren’s Contracture Scenario: Martin is 50 years old and started to develop a lump and cordlike structure in the palm of his hand, that is pulling his ring finger into a bent position. He is having trouble putting on gloves, washing his face and getting his hand in his pocket.

What Is Dupuytren’s Contracture?

Dupuytren’s is a condition that develops mainly in men after the age of 50 years. It predominantly affects the ring and little fingers and has a genetic/hereditary component. Excess collagen is formed in the fascia of the palm. Nodules or lumps appear first and then a cord can develop towards the fingers that cause a flexion contracture.

Straightening is affected but flexion is normal. It is generally not a painful condition and sometimes people mistake the nodules for calluses in the early phase of development. There are multiple surgery options available from a simple needle release to excision of the Dupuytren’s and skin grafting.

Therapy is required after surgery/procedure to maintain extension gained with exercises and splinting. You hand therapist can also help with swelling, pain and wound management.

Light use of the hand is encouraged after post-op bandage removal. Thick scarring can occur after Dupuytren’s excision. You hand therapist can show you massage options and provide silicon/compression products to help reduce this.

Dupuytren's Contracture

Article reference: Hand Therapy Group

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