Diagnosing Dupuytren's contracture 

See your GP if you think you have Dupuytren's contracture (Dupuytren's disease). The first step is to examine your palm and hand for signs of the condition.

Characteristic signs of Dupuytren's contracture are:

  • lumps of tissue (nodules)
  • dimples or pitted marks
  • thickened skin
  • bent fingers

Dupuytren’s contracture affects everyone differently, so you'll be asked about any specific symptoms you have and any problems with carrying out daily activities. Some people are troubled by quite a minor deformity, while others are able to cope with a major one.

If you're unable to fully extend one of your fingers, your GP may refer you to a specialist at a local hand surgery unit for further assessment and any necessary treatment.

Assessing the need for treatment

If your finger is curling into your palm, the amount of deformity will be measured to determine the severity of the condition.

In mild cases, no treatment may be recommended, because there's a chance the condition won't get any worse. If the condition is more severe, treatment with medication or a minor procedure called a needle fasciotomy may be recommended.

In the most severe cases, surgery to correct the problem may be recommended.

Read more about treating Dupuytren’s contracture.

Page last reviewed: 29/05/2015

Next review due: 29/05/2017