rochester skyline

Dupuytren’s Contracture Treatment in Rochester, NY

Dupuytren’s contracture is a common condition of the hand that causes an involuntary bending of the fingers toward the palm of the hand. This bend is the result of thickened tissue just below the skin of the hand, making it difficult for these complicated joints to move smoothly against one another.

The expertly trained orthopaedic surgeons at Greater Rochester Orthopaedics have extensive experience diagnosing and treating conditions that affect the hands. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms outlined below, call (585) 295-5476 to request an appointment at our orthopaedic clinic in Rochester today.

What Causes Dupuytren’s Contracture?

There is no known cause of Dupuytren’s contracture, though the condition is often seen in individuals who:

  • Are over the age of 50
  • Use tobacco products
  • Are male
  • Have a family history of Dupuytren’s contracture
  • Frequently consume alcohol
  • Are of Northern European descent
  • Have diabetes

Clearly, many of the risk factors of Dupuytren’s contracture listed above are not within a person’s control. However, orthopaedic surgeons recommend that individuals limit their alcohol and tobacco usage in order to reduce their risk for this condition.

Typical Signs and Symptoms

Dupuytren’s contracture is most notable by the uncontrollable contraction of the fingers that leads them to bend inward toward the palm. This contraction is enabled by nodules or cords that have formed under the skin. Individuals with Dupuytren’s contracture can often feel these small lumps or pits within their hands.

The pinky and ring fingers are most commonly affected by this hand condition, though it can appear in any finger. It is also possible for Dupuytren’s contracture to present itself in both hands, though it is often more prominent in one hand than the other.

As the condition worsens, so too do its symptoms. Individuals with Dupuytren’s contracture will usually begin to notice their condition is affecting everyday life in that it begins to make even the simplest tasks like writing much more difficult. At this stage, considerable treatment will be needed in order to treat and correct the patient’s hand.

Treatments for Dupuytren’s Contracture

Early intervention is the best remedy to avoiding surgical treatment for Dupuytren’s contracture. The condition will progressively worsen over time, though if your symptoms are not yet interfering with daily activities, then intervention may not be necessary. If you are unsure of how to prevent your case of Dupuytren’s contracture from getting worse, be sure to consult with a specialist from Greater Rochester Orthopaedics right away in order to avoid long-term damage to the hand.

Generally, the goal of the treatment process for Dupuytren’s contracture is to break apart the thickened nodules or cords that have formed within the tissues of the hand. This can be achieved in several different ways.

Needle Aponeurotomy

This particular treatment uses fine needles that are inserted into the hand to help break apart thickened tissues that cause the person’s hand to contract involuntarily. The entire process is absolutely painless, as a topical anesthetic is applied by your orthopaedic surgeon beforehand to help numb the area.

Needle aponeurotomy, also called needling, is not a permanent solution, and treatments will typically need to be ongoing to help continually relieve the individual’s symptoms of Dupuytren’s contracture.

Direct Injections

Corticosteroids have often been used to reduce swelling and inflammation from painful nodules of the hand. These injections can help to slow the developmental process of Dupuytren’s contracture, though it will not be able to reverse the effects of the condition.

In more recent years, enzyme injections have been approved by the FDA for treatment of Dupuytren’s contracture. This enzyme is specially designed to break apart the tough, fibrous cords that are commonly associated with cases of Dupuytren’s contracture. As the enzyme begins to take effect, your physician will begin to gently stretch the tendons of contracted fingers to hopefully restore their full flexibility and mobility.


Another way to stretch the tendons of fingers affected by Dupuytren’s contracture is to regularly wear a splint that forces the fingers to be fully extended. Patients considering splinting should approach this treatment with caution, and should not begin using a splint until it is approved by your orthopaedic surgeon, as forceful manipulation of the fingers can lead to further injury if not administered properly.

Surgical Treatment in Rochester

Surgery is often recommended for individuals with a severe instance of Dupuytren’s contracture, or for those who have not gained satisfactory results from less invasive treatment options. These types of surgical procedures usually require a significant amount of recovery time, though surgery is still much more suitable for patients who require more immediate and long-lasting relief from their finger contractions.

To learn more about the hand surgery specialties of Greater Rochester Orthopaedics, please call (585) 295-5476 to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced physicians today! We also offer new patients the convenience of requesting an appointment online through the use of our secure form.

Orthopedic Urgent Care

Sprain or broken bone? Avoid the ER