[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
April 30, 1973

Section 33.—Dupuytren's Contracture

JAMA. 1973;224(Suppl_5):751-752. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220190091036

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


Dupuytren's contracture (G. Dupuytren, 1831) results from a fibrous proliferation of the palmar fascia on the ulnar side of the hand, with subsequent progressive contracture which gradually draws the fingers into flexion deformity. The disorder is frequently bilateral. Although the cause is not known there is increasing evidence of an hereditary predisposition. Occupational trauma is not generally considered to be causative although it may be an aggravating factor in those individuals with a predisposition to the disease. A higher incidence has been noted in certain diseases, particularly in epilepsy and chronic alcoholism with cirrhosis. Men are affected more often than women. There is some similarity between Dupuytren's contracture and the palmar contracture described in association with reflex dystrophy of the upper extremity, or so-called shoulder-hand syndrome.

The earliest sign is a small thickened plaque or nodule in the palmar fascia which slowly and painlessly spreads and gives rise to a