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Dupuytren's Disease

Woman playing tennis

Dupuytren's contracture (disease) is the name for painless fibrous tissue that forms under the skin on the palm of the hand and at the base of the fingers. The condition begins as lumps of painless tissue that often are mistaken for callouses. Over time thick bands of tissue can form, pulling the fingers down toward the palm. Surgery is often recommended when the fingers can no longer be straightened.

Specially-trained orthopedic specialists at Virginia Mason perform both surgery and a new non-surgical procedure that uses an injectable enzyme (XIAFLEX) to correct Dupuytren's contracture.

For more information about treatment for Dupuytren's contracture, our hand surgery team at
(206) 341-3000.

Symptoms of Dupuytren's Contracture

  • Painless lumps under the skin on the palm of the hand and at the base of the fingers
  • Band of fibrous tissue under the skin on the palm
  • Inability to straighten the fingers, particularly the ring and little fingers

Diagnosing Dupuytren's Contracture

In its advanced stages, Dupuytren's contracture is quickly assessed and diagnosed by a physician. In its earlier bumpy phase, it is frequently confused with callouses.

Treatment of Dupuytren's Contracture

Surgery to remove the fibrous tissue in the palm, particularly when the fingers can no longer be straightened, used to be considered standard treatment. Now there is a new technique that avoids the risks of surgery and shortens rehabilitation time. A specialized enzyme that will dissolve in one to three days (XIAFLEX) is precisely placed into the hand by a trained specialist during an office visit. During a second visit a few days later, the finger is numbed and straightened. For the majority of patients, this manipulation will result in a near full correction. Specially-trained hand therapists will then fabricate a splint to help keep the fingers straight and the patient will start a self-supervised course of therapeutic exercises.

Virginia Mason's board-certified hand surgeons have been specially trained and have extensive experience in safety and effectively administering XIAFLEX.