Dupuytren’s Disease

Do you have bumps or cord-like structures on the palm of your hand and are unsure of what they are? Are they impacting your day-to-day life? Have you been told that you potentially have Dupuytren’s disease?

Dupuytren’s disease is a benign connective tissue disorder that develops slowly over many years. Dupuytren’s impacts the soft tissue under the skin in the palm of your hand.

The first sign of Dupuytren’s is typically a formation of a bump or nodule that some clients have said causes an itchy, burning sensation, whilst others have said they don’t receive any sensations.

Generally, these knots of tissue eventually form into a thick cord. This thick cord pulls one or more of the fingers into an inward position towards the palm resulting in what is known as Dupuytren’s contracture. When the fingers are pulled into a bent position, it can make it difficult to perform daily tasks that require hand use. The ability to open the hand fully to be able to grasp objects and get the hand into small spaces is mainly impacted.

The fingers most often affected are the ring, little finger and sometimes the middle finger. Dupuytren’s can affect both hands, however one hand is generally more affected than the other. There is no known cause of Dupuytren’s disease, however there is research indicating that people from Northern European descent are more at risk to developing the disease.

There is no cure to this disease, however it can be managed via surgery and therapy. Therapy treatment options available at Specialist On Hand include:

  • Pain management
  • Wound and oedema management
  • Scar management
  • Targeted movement for tissue healing.
  • Soft tissue massage, myofascial release and friction massage.
  • Specially tailored hand splints to suit your needs
  • Neurostimulation using Inter-X and TENS machines.
  • Graded exercise programs for functional ability and strength
  • Activity modification education

If you have the symptoms described or would like more advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We can initiate communication with your healthcare partners and help in your recovery process to get you back to your regular activities as soon as possible.


Peterson, S., Brou, K., & Rayan, G. (2010). Stiffness and contractures: Dupuytren’s disease: Part 1: Hand and wrist. In B. Randip (Ed.), Advanced concepts of hand pathology and surgery: Application to hand therapy practice (pp. 325-334). Illinois, USA: American Society for Surgery of the Hand.

Pitbladdo, K., & Hentz, V. (2014). Dupuytren’s disease. In C. Cooper (Ed.), Fundamentals of hand therapy: Clinical reasoning and treatment guidelines for common diagnosis of the upper extremity (2nd ed., pp. 542-550). Missouri, USA: Elsevier.

Picture: From WebMD, 2018.