Dupuytren's contracture is also known as morbus Dupuytren, Dupuytren's disease or palmar fibromatosis Dupuytren's contracture is a fixed flexion contracture of the hand where the fingers bend towards the palm and cannot be fully extended (straightened). It is an inherited proliferative connective tissue disorder which involves the palmar fascia of the hand. It is named after Baron Guillaume Dupuytren, the surgeon who described an operation to correct the affliction in the Lancet the British Medical Journal in 1831.
The ring finger and little finger are the fingers most commonly affected. The middle finger may be affected in advanced cases, but the index finger and the thumb are nearly always normal. Dupuytren's contracture progresses slowly and is generally painless. In patients with this condition, the palmar fascia thickens and shortens so that the tendons connected to the fingers cannot move freely. The palmar fascia becomes overgrown and contracts. Incidence increases after the age of 40; at this age, men are affected more often than women.