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Contracture or Disease?
Dupuytren Disease versus Dupuytren Contracture
By: Charles Eaton
Dec 11, 2015

What is the difference between Dupuytren Disease and Dupuytren Contracture?

Dupuytren Disease is condition in which there is an imbalance in the body’s ability to regulate part of the biology involved in healing and scarring. The medical name for the changes caused by Dupuytren disease is fibrosis: tough, scar like tissue forms where it doesn’t belong. Many disorders cause fibrosis – Dupuytren disease is just one of a group. Dupuytren severity varies (see http://Dupuytrens.org/three-types-of-dupuytren-disease/) from being so mild that it needs no treatment to severe and crippling despite all available treatment. There is a genetic basis and often a known family history in people who are strongly affected.

Because there is not yet a blood test or biomarker for Dupuytren disease, the diagnosis can only be made after someone has shown changes in their hand – lumps, cords, contractures.

Dupuytren disease doesn’t only affect the palms of the hands. People with severe involvement often show lumps on the back of their finger joints (called “Garrod pads”, “knuckle pads”, or “dorsal Dupuytren nodules”) and lumps in the arch of one or both feet (Ledderhose disease). In severe cases, the area where the palm meets the wrist may develop lumps. Severe Dupuytren disease is also associated with frozen shoulder, Peyronie disease of the penis, increased risk of several types of cancer, and risk of early death, but more research is needed to clarify these relationships.

Dupuytren Disease is a systemic process which can affect many areas of the body.

Dupuytren contracture is bent fingers from Dupuytren disease. Dupuytren contracture is treated with procedures by a hand surgeon, but this does not cure the underlying disease, and so contractures often return or involve other fingers.

There are treatments for Dupuytren contracture, but no treatment exists for Dupuytren disease. Finding the cause and cure of Dupuytren disease is the mission of the Dupuytren Foundation and the focus of the Dupuytren Foundation’s International Dupuytren Data Bank – research for a cure: http://DupStudy.com. The sooner this study is completed, the sooner a cure for Dupuytren disease will be found. If you haven’t yet enrolled, enroll today, and tell your friends to do the same!

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