Did You Know . . .
Dupuytren’s Disease is a genetic disease that can result in thick fibrotic nodules in the hand and cords in the palms or fingers that cause finger contractures. It has been associated with northern European ancestry, and has been called “Viking’s Disease”. It is autosomal dominant, which means you pass it to all your children. It has variable penetration, which means even though you have the disease, some people get it early and severely, and others may not get it until much later in life. The speed that a nodule or cord grows will vary between individuals. It is more common in men, diabetics, alcoholics, smokers, and people with high cholesterol. Over time the cords contract resulting in the inability to fully extend the fingers, or place the hand flat on a table. It is better to see a doctor early in the disease process so that all treatment options are available. If your fingers are already severely contracted, your options are limited and the outcome is not as good. Treatment may involve medication, ointments, steroid injections, collagenase (Xiaflex) injections, or surgery. This disease cannot be cured, but it can be treated to improve function for variable lengths of time. It is best to be followed by your doctor on a yearly basis so that they can monitor the progression of your disease.