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April 25, 2008

Dupuytren's Contracture

We're studying the forearm (antebrachium) this week, so I decided to develop a theme for the week. It only seemed appropriate to blog about an entire array of disorders that commonly occur in the upper extremity.

Dupuytren's contracture is a hand deformity, usually rare, that creates involuntary bending of the fingers. It's usually affects the 4th and 5th fingers and is painless. Severe cases may inhibit use of the hand. Usually there is a family history in people of northern European decent, along with a possible history of alcoholism, epilepsy or diabetes.

Interestingly, I noticed that my anatomy instructor may have this condition, only because his hands remind me of my grandfather's hands. My grandfather had bilateral contractions of both of his ring fingers and tended to perform many activities using the first three fingers of his hands.

Complications of the condition include contracture disorders in other parts of the body: Plantar fibromatosis, Peyronie's disease, knuckle pads (Garrod's nodes).

While Dupuytren's contracture is irreversible, like any contracture syndrome, early intervention with massage may slow or limit the progression of contracture.


Posted by linda at April 25, 2008 7:22 AM

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