About Dupuytren’s Contracture

What is it and what are your treatment options?
Anchorage: (907) 562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267
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What is Dupuytren’s Contracture?

The palmar fascia is fibrous tissue between the palm and fingers. The palmar fascia stabilizes the palmar side of the hand. Without the palmar fascia, it would be difficult to grip objects and make a tight fist.

Common Causes:

  • Palmar fascia thickens and tightens
  • Diabetes
  • Seizure disorders (epilepsy)
  • Alcoholism
  • Age

The cause of Dupuytren’s contracture is unknown. Risk factors include:

  • Gender: Males.
  • Ancestry. Northern European descent.
  • Medical conditions. Diabetes, seizure disorders.
  • Hereditary. Genetically inherited.

Symptoms of Dupuytren’s Contracture may include:

  • Hand tightness and stiffness
  • Small visible nodule
  • Difficulty with straightening the fingers and properly use the hand
  • Symptoms usually seen in the index and ring fingers. The cause of Dupuytren’s contracture is unknown

When you arrive for your initial consultation, an Orthopedic Physicians Alaska (OPA) Hand Specialist will evaluate your areas of concern, discuss your symptoms, and develop a customized and comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your unique needs. This evaluation is a necessary part of diagnosing your condition and providing the best possible care.

When diagnosing Dupuytren’s contracture, our experts will provide:

  • A medical, injury, and symptom history review
  • A physical examination
  • Multiple view x-rays ( to rule out a fracture) and Ultrasound imaging

Once an official diagnosis is made, a customized treatment plan is prescribed. Treatment plans decrease symptoms as quickly as possible.

Common Treatments:

Nonsurgical treatment options treat most cases of Dupuytren’s Contracture. A customized treatment plan usually includes a combination of the following:

Physical Therapy

An OPA approved hand therapist can help you maintain your motion and function.


Corticosteroid injections decrease inflammation and pain. Injections also slow down or stop nodule progression.


Splinting is not known to prevent the progression of a finger contracture. Forceful stretching of the contracted finger may not be helpful and, in fact, could cause an injury to the finger or hand.

Surgery may be recommended to treat severe Dupuytren’s contracture. A fasciotomy removes portions of thickened tendons. A fasciectomy removes large pieces of the palmar fascia. A fasciectomy requires a larger incision and longer recovery. A splint is used after surgery. Hand therapy is usually started 2-4 weeks after surgery. Both procedures reduce symptoms, straighten the fingers, and improve hand function.

At OPA, our Board Certified and Fellowship Trained Orthopedic Hand Specialists are experts in treating Dupuytren’s contracture.

If you are in pain and would like a treatment solution you should contact OPA to schedule an appointment at our location in Anchorage.

Schedule An Appointment

To receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan, please make an appointment with one of our Orthopedic Team Specialists at our offices conveniently located in Anchorage and Wasilla, AK.
Anchorage: (907) 562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267

OPA Hand & Wrist Team

(click a provider to view profile)

Owen L. Ala, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Deryk Anderson, DO

Orthopedic Specialist

Tucker Drury, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Christopher Manion, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Our Mission

To provide the finest orthopedic surgery and musculoskeletal care in North America, offering general and specialized adult care to all Alaskans and visitors.


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