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Dupuytren's contracture

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A condition in which the tissues under the skin on the palm of the hand thicken and shorten so that the tendons connected to the fingers, most notably the ring finger and little finger, cannot be fully extended and tend to bend towards the palm.


This condition progresses slowly until such time that the palmar aponeurosis has shortened and thickened enough to cause flexion contracture of the fingers into the palm of the hand. The most commonly affected fingers are the ring finger and little finger. The middle finger may be affected in advanced cases, but index finger and thumb are nearly always spared.

Incidence increases after the age of 40. At this age men are affected more often than women but after the age of 80 the occurrences between men and women are nearly the same.

Word origin: named after Baron Guillaume Dupuytren, the surgeon who described an operation to correct the affliction.

Synonym: Morbus Dupuytren, Dupuytren's disease.
See also: Dupuytren fracture.