What is Dupuytren’s Disease?

Dupuytren’s disease is a medical condition that occurs in the hand’s fibrous layer of tissue underneath the skin, called the facia. Overtime, patients with Dupuytren’s this tissue thickens and tightens, which causes the finger to bend toward the palm, also known as Dupuytren’s contracture.

What are the Symptoms?

You may have Dupuytren’s disease if you notice lumps or divets on your palm. Thick cords may begin to develop, which causes bending of the fingers. Although this medical condition typically doesn’t cause pain, the lumps made in the palms may cause discomfort to some. In the beginning phases, you may not notice the symptoms, but as time passes, it may become more difficult to carry out everyday tasks.

Depending on the severity of your condition, treatment may vary. For some whose fingers are significantly bent due to the thickened facia, surgery may be necessary for a longer-lasting resolution.

What to Expect

If your hand function is not severely impaired, you should only need an examination and diagnosis to understand the condition. For more severe cases where hand function is impaired, there are various treatment options, including Dupuytren’s Contracture surgery. During an appointment with Dr. Howland, he will discuss the best treatment for you.

Dupuytren’s Disease Surgery

There are three common methods of surgical treatment, which will be discussed based on the severity of your condition. A needle fasciotomy can be performed under local anesthetic, while Dr. Howland inserts into the fibrous bands under the skin. Then the cord or cords affecting proper hand function will be divided, releasing the tightness and pulling of your hand’s tendons. An open fasciotomy may be necessary, which is similar to a needle fasciotomy but is a more complex and extensive operation.


By dividing the thick facia tissue under the skin, Dr. Howland immediately releases the pressure and tension you may have been experiencing. Fingers will return to their normal position, and with time, you will regain flexibility and function of your hand. The goal of Dupuytren’s Disease surgical treatment is long-lasting. However, the rate of recurrence of this medical condition is fairly high, requiring ongoing treatment over time.

If you have Dupuytren’s disease and would like to find relief, contact Howland Plastic Surgery in Draper, UT, to schedule your appointment.


Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Dupuytrens contracture worse?

There aren’t any triggers with Dupuytren’s contracture that aggravate the issue or make the symptoms work. But, as time goes on, your symptoms can worsen as the nodules on the fascia under the skin turn into cords and make it very difficult to fully straighten your fingers.

How do you prevent Dupuytrens from getting worse?

To prevent Dupuytren’s from getting worse, your provider may first suggest certain hand exercises or a brace or splint. If that doesn’t help your symptoms, a needle fasciotomy may be needed. During the procedure, a local anesthetic is applied, and needles are inserted into the fibrous cords or bands underneath the skin to release tension and straighten the fingers.

How fast does Dupuytrens disease progress?

Dupuytren’s disease progresses very slowly. It can take years for it to progress from having a few nodules to cords, and some people never get to a stage where they can’t straighten their fingers at all.

What are the complications of Dupuytrens?

If left untreated, Dupuytren’s is typically painless, but it can still be debilitating, as it can get to a point where you can’t open your hand or straighten your fingers. This may stop you from being able to grab certain objects.

How long does Dupuytrens surgery take?

The needle fasciotomy typically takes between 30 minutes to an hour. It depends on how many needles need to be inserted and how severe your symptoms are.

What is the success rate of Dupuytrens surgery?

The success rate of surgery for Dupuytren’s surgery is very high, and most patients notice a big difference in the amount of mobility they have in their hand(s) after the procedure. According to the National Institute of Health, 93% of patients showed less contracture after surgery.