A retrospective review of the management of Dupuytren's nodules

Rachel M. Reilly, Peter J. Stern, Charles A. Goldfarb

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39 Scopus citations


Purpose: To evaluate the progression of Depuytren's nodules with more than 6 years of follow-up study. Methods: Fifty-nine patients who presented initially with Dupuytren's nodules returned for physical examination at an average follow-up period of 8.7 years (range, 6-15 y). Patients were questioned regarding family history of Dupuytren's disease, family ethnicity, alcohol consumption, smoking, liver disease, seizures, diabetes, and signs of systemic disease such as knuckle pads and plantar nodules. Physical examination evaluated disease state, loss of extension of the finger joints, and disease location. Results: Thirty of the 59 patients with previously diagnosed isolated nodules developed a cord. Twenty-two percent of patients presented with bilateral disease and another 26% developed bilateral disease. Of those patients whose disease progressed 43% had European heritage, 37% had disease onset before the age of 50 years, 30% had bilateral disease, 23% had a family history of Dupuytren's disease, and 13% had plantar nodules. Five patients lost extension averaging 60°at the metacarpophalangeal joint and 40°at the proximal interphalangeal joint. Three of these 5 had surgical excision because they had a flexion contracture of the metacarpophalangeal or proximal interphalangeal joints averaging 60°and 43°, respectively. Another 7 patients did not meet standard criteria but had surgery for persistent pain associated with grasping objects (without contracture). All surgically treated patients had at least 1 risk factor and 7 patients had more than 1 risk factor. In 7 patients the Dupuytren's nodule had resolved at the time of follow-up evaluation. Conclusions: The progression of the nodular form of Dupuytren's disease to cord-like disease is common but not inevitable. This evaluation of Dupuytren's nodules has shown that at an average of 8.7 years after diagnosis 5 patients met standard surgical criteria of metacarpophalangeal contracture of greater than 30°or any proximal interphalangeal contracture. Age of onset (before 50 years) is correlated most closely with disease progression, and the disease regressed in 7 patients (12%).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1014-1018
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2005


  • Dupuytren's disease
  • Dupuytren's nodules
  • Nodules


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