Images of Dupuytren's disease show the level of contracture at each stage of the disease, as shown on the website of the International Dupuytren Society. In stage N, the earliest phase of the illness, nodules are clearly visible on the palm of the hand, but the fingers are not deformed. In stage one, a single finger bends upwards towards the palm at an angle of less than 45 degrees.
When Dupuytren's disease reaches stage two, the affected finger bends at an angle greater than 45 degrees, as shown in the photo on the International Dupuytren Society website. At stage three, the finger bends at an angle greater than 90 degrees, and by stage four, three of the fingers bend towards the palm at an angle greater than 90 degrees. These photographs represent Dupuytren's contractures, which do not occur in every person who develops Dupuytren's disease.
Dupuytren's disease develops slowly, over a period of years, states Mayo Clinic. It typically begins with one or more knots that develop within the connective tissue in the palm of the hand. Eventually, these knots create a thick cord that pulls the fingers in an unnatural angle towards the palm. The fingers are stuck, or contracted, in this position, making many tasks difficult.
Doctors do not know what causes Dupuytren's disease. However, men over the age of 50, smokers and people with diabetes are at greater risk of developing the disease, explains Mayo Clinic.