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Dupuytren's Contracture

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 1, 2023.

Dupuytren's contracture occurs when tissues in your hand thicken. The thickened tissue may form cords that extend from your palm to your finger. The cords may shorten, and your palm or finger may become stuck in a bent position. Dupuytren's contracture may occur in one or both of your hands. It is more common in the right hand and the ring or little fingers.


Return to the emergency department if:

  • You have severe pain in your hand.
  • You cannot use your hand at all.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever or chills.
  • There is a new lump, dimple, or dent on your palm or finger.
  • You have a pocket of fluid under your skin.
  • Your palm or finger becomes bent again.
  • You feel tingling or a pricking feeling on your hand.
  • You have trouble straightening your finger or palm.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


  • Go to physical or occupational therapy. A physical therapist teaches you exercises to improve movement and strength.
  • Stretch your fingers. Bend them backward from your palm to straighten them.
  • Use heat and massage. Apply heat on your hand and gently massage your fingers and palm.
  • Wear your splint as directed. You may need to wear a splint to help straighten your fingers.
  • Limit alcohol. Ask how much alcohol you should drink.
  • Do not smoke. Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes and cigars can make your symptoms worse. Ask your provider for information if you currently smoke and need help to quit. E-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco still contain nicotine. Talk to your provider before you use these products.

Treatment options

The following list of medications are in some way related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

You may need to return every 6 months to 1 year to have your hand checked or measured. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Dupuytren's Contracture

Treatment options

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.