Rachel M. Reilly BSa, , , Peter J. Stern MDa and Charles A. Goldfarb MDb aUniversity of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, and Hand Surgery Specialists, Cincinnati, OH bDepartment of Orthopaedic Surgery, Washington University of St. Louis, St. Louis, MO. Received 5 August 2004; accepted 8 March 2005. Available online 21 September 2005. Purpose To evaluate the progression of Depuytrens nodules with more than 6 years of follow-up study. Methods Fifty-nine patients who presented initially with Dupuytrens nodules returned for physical examination at an average follow-up period of 8.7 years (range, 615 y). Patients were questioned regarding family history of Dupuytrens 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 Dupuytrens 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 Dupuytrens nodule had resolved at the time of follow-up evaluation. Conclusions The progression of the nodular form of Dupuytrens disease to cord-like disease is common but not inevitable. This evaluation of Dupuytrens 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%).
The Journal of Hand Surgery Volume 30, Issue 5 , September 2005, Pages 1014-1018.