This is a condition which mostly affects the fourth and fifth fingers, but may affect any digit, which will tighten the fingers into a bent position. The palmar fascia is layer of tissue under the surface of the hand and as this tissue tightens, it causes clawing of the fingers. The contracture progresses over decades and is associated with aching and itching. The contracture continues and eventually affects the normal function of the effected hand or hands, where it becomes impossible to fully straighten the affected fingers.
In most cases only the hands are affected. Where 4-6 % of people worldwide are affected and 45% of individuals have the condition in both hands.
The research reports that there is a strong genetic potential, however there is also a higher potential with individuals with a history of vibration from manual labour, with diabetes mellitus, alcohol abuse, smoking and epileptic patients who are treated with phenoitins.
Men are three times more likely to develop a Dupuytren`s Contracture, so too there is an increased risk with a people from a Scandinavian or Northern European descent, when in their fifth decade of life.
Dupuytren`s Contracture or disease is also known as the Viking Disease, as there is a higher potential in individuals from Sweden, Finland or Norway.
The Physiotherapists at Physica are well experienced in the diagnosis, treatment and referral to a hand surgeon may be warranted in some patients.
There are many options for treatment for Dupuytren`s Contracture including enzyme injection, corticosteroid injection, needle aponeurotomy, splinting and surgery to remove the thickened tissue to regain full function.