Dupuytren's contracture

J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 1998 Jan-Feb;6(1):24-35. doi: 10.5435/00124635-199801000-00003.


Dupuytren's contracture is a fibroproliferative disorder of autosomal dominant inheritance that most commonly affects men over age 60 who are of Scandinavian, Irish, or eastern European descent. Local microvessel ischemia in the hand and specific platelet-derived and fibroblast growth factors act at the cellular level to promote the dense myofibroblast population and altered collagen profiles seen in affected tissue. Surgical treatment depends to some degree on patient preference and a clear understanding of the possible complications and considerable postoperative therapy commitment. Operative management is appropriate when metacarpophalangeal or proximal interphalangeal joint contracture exceeds 30 degrees. A volar zigzag Brunner incision in the digit and palm provides reliable exposure and leads to predictable healing in most cases. The mainstay of postoperative hand therapy is early active-flexion range-of-motion exercises to restore grip strength. A nighttime extension splint is often used for several months postoperatively to maintain the correction achieved in the operating room. Early recurrence of disease is most common in individuals with Dupuytren's diathesis; use of full-thickness skin grafts may be helped for these patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dupuytren Contracture* / etiology
  • Dupuytren Contracture* / pathology
  • Dupuytren Contracture* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Recurrence
  • Treatment Outcome