Dupuytren's contracture

Dupuytren's contracture is when 1 or more fingers bend in towards your palm. There's no cure, but your fingers can be straightened if it's severe.

Check if you have Dupuytren's contracture

Dupuytren's contracture mainly affects the ring and little fingers. You can have it in both hands at the same time.

It tends to get slowly worse over many months or years. Treatment cannot usually help in the early stages.

White right hand held out flat with ring finger bent in towards the palm.
Eventually, your finger may get stuck in a bent position.
If you're not sure it's Dupuytren's contracture

Other conditions can have similar symptoms.

Other conditions that have similar symptoms
Symptom Possible cause
Small, soft lump on the wrist or finger joints ganglion
Hard, raised, rough skin on the palms calluses
Finger "catching" or getting stuck when you move it trigger finger

Non-urgent advice: See a GP if 1 or more of your fingers are bent and:

  • you cannot put your hand down flat
  • you're having difficulty with daily activities

You'll probably be offered treatment. The GP may refer you to a surgeon to discuss your options.


You can ask to be referred to a hospital of your choice.

Find and compare hospitals for Dupuytren's contracture

Treatments for Dupuytren's contracture

Speak to a specialist about the options, what the benefits and risks are, and what to expect afterwards.

Your finger may not be completely straight after treatment, and might not be as strong and flexible as it used to be.

The contracture could also come back after a few years.

There are 3 main types of treatment.


A cut is made along your palm and finger so the surgeon can straighten it.

Needle fasciotomy

A needle is inserted into several places along your palm and finger to loosen and straighten it.


Similar to a fasciectomy, except an additional area of skin is removed; a skin graft from elsewhere in the body can be used to replace the removed skin.


Self-refer for treatment

If you have Dupuytren's contracture, you might be able to refer yourself directly to services for help with your condition without seeing a GP.

To find out if there are any services in your area:

  • ask the reception staff at your GP surgery
  • check your GP surgery's website
  • contact your integrated care board (ICB) – find your local ICB
  • search online for NHS treatment for Dupuytren's contracture near you

Causes and preventing Dupuytren's contracture

Dupuytren's contracture happens when the tissue under the skin near your fingers becomes thicker and less flexible.

The exact cause is unknown, but it's been linked to:

It's not known if you can prevent it or stop it coming back.

Page last reviewed: 15 June 2021
Next review due: 15 June 2024