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Dupuytren's Disease: Care Instructions

Normal hand and hand with Dupuytren's disease.


In Dupuytren's disease, the fingers become stiff and curl toward the palm. It is caused by thick tissue that grows under the skin in the palm of the hand. Sometimes the condition affects the palm but not the fingers. If the tissue gets thicker and affects one or more fingers, it may limit movement of your fingers and hand. The disease can cause your fingers to bend so you can't straighten them. This is called a contracture. Sometimes the condition can occur in the soles of the feet.

The cause of Dupuytren's disease is not known. It may get worse slowly. If you have a mild case, you may be able to keep your fingers moving with regular stretching. Surgery usually helps in severe cases. However, Dupuytren's disease can come back.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Follow your doctor's advice for physiotherapy or occupational therapy and exercises to put your fingers and hand through a range of motion.
  • Two times a day, massage your hand and gently stretch the fingers back. This can get rid of tightness and help keep your fingers flexible.
  • Try to avoid curling your hand tightly. For example, use utensils and tools that have larger hand grips.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have numbness in your fingers.
  • You have a wound or sore on your finger or palm.
  • Your hand or fingers get worse.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if you have any problems.

Where can you learn more?

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.