Dupuytren's disease is an abnormal thickening of tissue beneath the skin often in the palm and extending to the fingers. Firm pits, bumps or cords (thick lines) can develop and cause the fingers to bend into the palm. This can occasionally cause thickening on top of the knuckles or develop in the soles of the feet (plantar fibromatosis).
Causes: The cause of Dupuytren's disease is unknown. Often, this is more common in men than women, people over the age of 40, and people of northern European descent. Dupuytren's disease often runs in families.
Symptoms: Often, lumps or pits are seen within the palm. The lump are firm and stuck to the skin. Thick cords may develop from the palm into one or more fingers. The ring and small finger are most commonly involved. These cords may cause bending of the fingers. In many cases, both hands are affected, but each hand can be affected differently.
The disease may be first noticed because of difficulty placing the hand flat on a surface. As the fingers become curled into the palm, it can be difficult to wash hand, wear gloves, shake hands or put hands into the pockets.
Treatment: Mild disease: If hand function is good, only observation is needed. A lump in the palm does not mean that treatment is required or that the disease will progress.
Severe disease: In severe disease, where the fingers are bent into the palm, surgery or injections may be recommended.