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Dupuytren's Contracture


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 cord 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 most common in the ring and little fingers.


Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

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


  • Use heat and massage. Apply heat on your hand to warm up your muscles and gently massage your fingers and palm.
  • Stretch your fingers. Bend them backward from your palm to straighten them. Do not hold objects with a tight grip.
  • Go to physical and occupational therapy. A physical therapist teaches you exercises to improve movement and strength and decrease pain. An occupational therapist teaches you skills to help with your daily activities.
  • Wear your splint as directed. You may need to wear a splint to help straighten your fingers. You may need to wear the splint all the time, during the day, or during the night.
  • Limit alcohol. Ask how much alcohol you should drink. A drink of alcohol is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1½ ounces of liquor.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever.
  • 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.

Return to the emergency department if:

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

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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.