Dupuytren's (du-pwe-TRANZ) contracture is a hand deformity that usually develops over years. The condition affects a layer of tissue that lies under the skin of your palm. Knots of tissue form under the skin — eventually creating a thick cord that can pull one or more fingers into a bent position.

The affected fingers can't be straightened completely, which can complicate everyday activities such as placing your hands in your pockets, putting on gloves or shaking hands.

Dupuytren's contracture mainly affects the ring finger and pinky, and occurs most often in older men of Northern European descent. A number of treatments are available to slow the progression of Dupuytren's contracture and relieve symptoms.

Aug. 26, 2015