Bent Little Finger

Why do I have a bent little finger, and I can’t straighten it? 

Bent little finger can be caused by Dupuytren's contracture. A little finger that stays bent can be cuased also by arthritis and trigger finger and a few other problems. The most common cause of bent little fingers is Dupuytren Contracture. Little finger bent makes life complicated. Based on the single finding of a bent little finger, no confident answer to this question is possible. However, the most likely reason for a bent little finger is Dupuytren contracture.  Other, less likely possibilities are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, trigger finger (tenosynovitis) and diabetes.  It might be important to see your doctor to investigate these other possibilities if your personal history and situation indicates it is necessary.  

Straighten that bent little finger with safe natural treatment

Great news!  Surgery is not always necessary to straighten a bent little finger that is so common with  Dupuytren’s contracture.  Since 2002 the Dupuytren Contracture Institute has helped people when the little finger won’t straighten.  People who closely follow the DCI treatment strategy early can do rather well with it. We hear from 8-10 people who use our large treatment plan reporting they see moderate to marked reduction of their signs and symptoms of Dupuytren, like bent little fingers, for every one report of failure.

Little finger is bent – no more!

We find that the larger the treatment plan, and the closer a person follows DCI treatment suggestions, the better the Dupuytren self-heals. Learn at DCI how so many people whose little finger is bent into the palm got help.

For information about DCI treatment plans

Regardless, it is important for people with Dupuytren to understand that self-repair and self-healing happen every day. People heal an unknown percent of early Dupuytren disease, and even reduce later, larger palm nodules and cords of Dupuytren’s contracture.

Our position has always been that while hand surgery is always an option, it makes sense to first attempt non-surgical treatment and therefore possibly avoid the inherent risks of surgery.

How do use natural therapy for Dupuytren’s disease?
► It’s easy.  Click on Start Dupuytren’s Treatment

Let’s explore this problem through a few questions commonly asked by people who want to know why the little fingers stay bent.

How do I know it is Dupuytren that is causing my bent little finger? 

First of all, there is one big reason to believe a bent pinky finger in particular is due to Dupuytren’s contracture.  The two fingers most commonly affected by DC, by far, are the little finger and the ring finger.  Of these two, the little finger is most common.    

As discussed in the first paragraph, there are many possible reasons that a little finger stays bent. Even so, the reader can be fairly confident the bent pinky is due to Dupuytren contracture when several of these risk factors are present:

  • Age 50+
  • Family descended from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, or a Scandinavian country
  • One or more family members have Dupuytren contracture
  • Musician
  • Diabetic
  • History of recent injury or surgery to upper extremities
  • History of alcohol abuse or liver disease
  • History of diabetes
  • History of heavy manual labor

Dupuytren’s disease and trigger finger

Let’s also consider in more detail another reason why a little finger won’t straighten: trigger finger (stenosing tenosynovitis).

Trigger finger happens when the tendon that controls a finger can’t glide smoothly in the sheath that surrounds it.   Two situations can cause this.  One, a swollen tendon gets stuck on a narrowed part of the tendon sheath.  Two, when the sheath becomes narrowed for some reason, like pressure caused by an abnormal DC palm lump. Any finger can be a trigger finger that suddenly locks up in a bent position, and just as suddenly releases the hold.  Just like pulling a trigger and it suddenly snaps free. Trigger finger can be occasional or frequent, mild or severe, locked in a bent position for a short or prolonged time, and mildly or severely painful.

It is rather common for trigger finger to develop in one or more fingers that also have Dupuytren’s contracture going on.  To say it another way, trigger finger is a common complication and can occur at the same time as Dupuytren’s contracture. This happens because of tissue irritation caused by the expanding palm lump and finger cord. Of course, this leads to inflammation and swelling (narrowing) of the tendon sheath. Trigger finger and a bent little finger are a direct result of these tissue changes.

There are a few important differences between trigger finger and Dupuytren contracture. Trigger finger has a very sudden onset.  Plus, it has a popping sound with the sudden release of the swollen tendon within the sheath covering it. In these cases, a trigger finger is normal between episodes. However, the stuck little finger of Dupuytren contracture has a very slow onset. Likewise, there is no popping sound because there is no tendon release.  Lastly, the locked finger of Dupuytren contracture is constant.

>> Natural Dupuytren Contracture Treatment – FAQs

Are Dupuytren nodules or cords a type of tumor of the hand?

No, Dupuytren’s contracture is not a cancerous tumor.   However, certain serious hand cancers can also cause hand pain, reduced finger movement and swelling.  For example, giant cell tumor and epithelioid sarcoma. For this reason, if there is a history of cancer in your family, or something about your current problem makes you suspect cancer, it is wise to have your doctor evaluate your hand complaints. The true cause of a bent little finger can be determined, cancer or not.

What keeps my little fingers bent all the time and why is it my little fingers won’t straighten?

There is a reason you have bent little fingers when you have Dupuytren contracture. It all beings with a thickening of the deep tissue of the palm (palmar fascia). This tissue is located below the skin and above the bones and tendons of the palm.  This thickened palm tissue slowly grows, and this is the main problem the little fingers stay bent.  As the lump continues to grow it develops a cord of dense tissue that attaches to a finger.  Over time, this cord shortens or contracts, causing that finger to curl down toward the palm. This keeps these fingers bent.  At this stage, the pinky fingers won’t straighten. Eventually, the hand takes on the appearance of a modified fist or claw.  This is why the little fingers stay bent.

How do use natural therapy for Dupuytren’s disease?
► It’s easy.  Click on Start Dupuytren’s Treatment

Is this why my pinky finger is bent?

Exactly.  People comment that when their Dupuytren contracture started up, they had a bent little finger  without any pain. This resulted in great clumsiness.  Slowly and gradually, this changes.  Soon the involved little finger stays bent and can’t straighten out completely.

Is this the reason my bent little finger does not hurt me?

Pain is a fairly common complaint when Dupuytren contracture begins. In the early stage, it causes a cnstant stinging or burning pain wherever there are lumps on the palm.  Over time, as the little finger stays stuck in a constant bent position, pain becomes less frequent and less intense.

Generally, Dupuytren contracture is not a very painful condition.  Dupuytren’s contracture is known mostly for the bent fingers, inability to fully open the hand, as well as the palm lumps. When pain is a major issue with Dupuytren’s contracture it is because the growing and contracting collagen tissue is pressing on, or wrapping around, nerve tissue in the palm.