Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Dupuytren’s contracture, also known as Dupuytren’s disease, is a hand deformity that causes the tissue beneath the surface of the hand to thicken and contract.

Evidence of Dupuytren’s usually begins with a thickening of the palm. One or more lumps beneath the skin of the palm may appear, usually near the base of the ring or pinkie finger.

As the disease progresses, these lumps -- or nodules -- develop into hard cords or bands that extend into the fingers. The cords eventually contract, making it impossible to extend the fingers. Routine activities such as washing dishes and shaking hands become difficult or impossible.

What are Dupuytren’s Contracture Risk Factors?

Although many have never heard of Dupuytren’s, hand surgeon Keith Segalman sees patients with the condition every day in his surgical practice at the Curtis National Hand Center and Greater Chesapeake Hand Specialists in Maryland.

While the condition is relatively common, its precise origin remains a mystery. "We've detected many associations, but no clear cause," says Segalman.

Here’s what experts know about Dupuytren’s:

  • Dupuytren’s is hereditary.

    “The disease runs in families," says surgeon Taizoon Baxamusa, a spokesperson for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and an associate clinical professor of orthopaedic surgery at the University of Illinois in Chicago. This doesn't mean that because your father had Dupuytren's, that you'll automatically develop it too. But your risk is definitely higher, according to Segalman.

  • Ancestry plays a key role.

    Dupuytren’s disease is seen most often in people of Northern European (English, Scottish, Irish, Dutch, French) or Scandinavian (Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish) descent. But individuals of all races and ethnicities can develop it.

  • Gender and age are risk factors.

    Men are far more likely than women to develop Dupuytren’s contracture, and the condition usually appears after the age of 40. When women develop the condition, they tend to do so later in life, and have milder symptoms.

  • The condition has been associated with diabetes and with seizure disorders such as epilepsy.

    Experts don't know the reason for the link in either case. Segalman adds that Dupuytren’s symptoms are typically less severe in patients with diabetes, again for reasons that are not fully understood.

What is Dupuytren's Contracture?

Learn about Dupuytren's contracture and how the condition is treated.
View slideshow