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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is Dupuytren's Disease?

    Related Topic
    My doctor says the lumps on my hand are due to Dupuytren's Disease and that I may need surgery in the future. How did I get this disease?
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    Dr Jillian Tomlinson

    Hand Surgeon, Plastic Surgeon (Reconstructive & Cosmetic)

    Dr Jill Tomlinson is a fully qualified plastic, reconstructive and hand surgeon. After graduating dux in her year at University High School, Jill completed medical … View Profile

    Dupuytren's disease is an inherited, non-painful condition that affects the hands of adults. It results in abnormally thickened tissue that forms nodules or cords in the palm and/or base of the fingers. The cords contract over time, drawing the fingers in towards the palm and preventing you from being able to straighten your hand properly. In anatomical terms it is the “palmar fascia” that thickens to form the nodules and cords; this fascia is a tissue layer that lies directly under the skin of the palm. Dupuytren's disease warrants treatment when you can't put your hand flat on a table top and have difficulty using your hands for everyday tasks. It is sometimes called the “Viking's disease” because it is more common in people of European (and Viking) descent. There is nothing that you have done to get Dupuytren's Disease.Dupuytren's disease tends to affect people aged over 50 and is gradually progressive. People who are affected in their 30s and 40s tend to have a more severe form of the disease, sometimes termed “Dupuytren's Diathesis”. Women tend to be affected a decade later than men. Dupuytren's most commonly affects the little and ring fingers, but it can also affect the middle finger, index finger and thumb.Dupuytren's disease is gradually progressive and no treatment cures the disease. However, very effective surgical and non-surgical treatments are available. If you are in your 60s or 70s when you first notice this condition you may require only one (or no) procedures during your lifetime. If you are in your 30s or 40s it is highly likely you will require more than one procedure during your lifetime.

    For more information about Dupuytren's Disease treatment please visit the Melbourne Hand Surgery website.

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