Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hand News

A Rare Case of Dupuytren's in a Newborn

Parents can still be heard telling their children "don't point." Yet when a child is born with a bent finger that can't point, there may be cause for concern.

A condition found only in humans, Dupuytren's disease most often affects the ring or little finger, sometimes both, and often in both hands. Cords of scar-like tissue form and pull one or more fingers into a permanently bent position. The condition is genetic, meaning it is usually present in other family members, too.

Dupuytren's in children is rare. This single case is the first to show that this condition can occur at birth. The deformity was present at birth and wasn't caused by birth trauma. None of the other family members ever had Dupuytren's.

What can be done about the bent finger? Sometimes no treatment is necessary, and doctors watch the person over time. In this case, a splint was used to hold the finger straight. After three months, the bent finger was worse even though the child had kept the splint on.

The cord of tissue had to be removed with surgery. Since the skin was not connected to the extra tissue, the opening was closed easily. The surgery was successful, but it is not certain if the child will have similar problems again. For the moment, this child can point as much as he wants!


G. Foucher, et al. A Congenital Hand Deformity: Dupuytren's Disease. In The Journal of Hand Surgery. May 2001. Vol. 26A. No. 3. Pp. 515-517.

12/18/2001

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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