Tuesday, February 9, 2016

My ring finger bends in towards my palm, and I can't extend it fully. Is this condition common, and will it go away on its own?

My ring finger bends in towards my palm, and I can't extend it fully. Is this condition common, and will it go away on its own?

My ring finger bends in towards my palm, and I can't extend it fully. Is this condition common, and will it go away on its own?

0 comments

My ring finger bends in towards my palm, and I can't extend it fully. It now looks like the crooked hand of a witch - too bad it isn't Halloween. Is this condition common, and will it go away on its own?

Dr. L. Scott Levin, with Inquirer staff writer Leila Haghighat

The bending of a finger or thumb toward the palm may be caused by a condition called Dupuytren's contracture, which occurs when tissue surrounding hand muscles tightens. It's often a hereditary disease and is common in patients whose family origins are in the British Isles.

The condition is usually painless, so we typically treat it only when patients are having trouble extending their fingers, shaking hands, or doing other daily activities.

There are several ways to treat Dupuytren's disease. For mild to moderate conditions, we can use a new treatment that involves injecting an enzyme into the affected area. Weakening the stiffened tissue then allows us to straighten the finger or thumb.

For more severe cases, there are a few surgical options. One is an outpatient, noninvasive procedure in which the tightened tissue is cut using a hypodermic needle. Another is surgical removal of the problematic tissue, usually by a hand surgeon.

After surgery, patients typically require hand therapy to regain full motion and function.

If your symptoms persist, you should consult your primary-care physician or an orthopedic hand specialist.

Regardless of treatment, however, Dupuytren's disease often returns in varying degrees. Treatments provide relief of debilitating symptoms, but do not cure the disease.

0 comments
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
 
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

Check Up is a blog for savvy health consumers, covering the latest developments, discoveries, and debates from the Philadelphia area and beyond.

Portions of this blog may also be found in the Inquirer's Sunday Health Section.

Charlotte Sutton Health and Science Editor, Philadelphia Inquirer
Tom Avril Inquirer Staff Writer, heart health and general science
Stacey Burling Inquirer Staff Writer, neuroscience and aging
Marie McCullough Inquirer Staff Writer, cancer and women's health
Don Sapatkin Inquirer Staff Writer, public health
David Becker, M.D. Board certified cardiologist, Chestnut Hill Temple Cardiology
Michael R. Cohen, R.Ph. President, Institute for Safe Medication Practices
Daniel R. Hoffman, Ph.D. President, Pharmaceutical Business Research Associates
Hooman Noorchashm, M.D., Ph.D. Cardiothoracic surgeon in the Philadelphia area
Amy J. Reed, M.D., Ph.D. Anesthesiologist and Surgical Intensivist in the Philadelphia Area
Latest Health Videos
Also on Philly.com:
letter icon Newsletter