Dupuytren's contracture can be recognized by a thickening of the palm and a hardening of tissue that causes the ring and pinkie fingers to remain in a bent position, explains Mayo Clinic. It is uncommon for the thumb or index finger to contract, but the middle finger is occasionally involved.
Dupuytren's contracture progresses slowly forming knots or lumps under the skin that eventually render the pinkie and ring fingers inoperable. Daily activities such as shaking hands, putting on gloves or putting hands in pockets are difficult, and in some cases impossible. If both hands are affected, one hand is usually more contracted than the other, states Mayo Clinic.
The main origin of Dupuytren's contracture is unclear but experts in the field have discovered interesting associations. Family history of Dupuytren's contracture increases the risk of developing the condition, according to WebMD. Even though people from all races can develop Dupuytren's contracture, people of Northern European or Scandinavian descent are more likely to develop it. Dupuytren's contracture is more prevalent in men who are over 40 years of age. An unclear association exits between diabetes, seizure disorders and Dupuytren's contracture, but the symptoms are less severe in people with diabetes for reasons not understood.