Could my work have caused Dupuytren’s contracture?


Recently I have been diagnosed with Dupuytren Contracture by my orthopedic doctor.  My question is why did it all of a sudden show up in both hands close to a year ago.?

I am of Scandinavian decedent.   I am almost 58 years old and a female.  The work I have been doing the past 28 years is a repetitious type.  The last 2 years I been doing banding with a 14# bander, and running around like a chicken with my head cut off.   My lumps looked much worse when I was working.  They laid me off permanently due to the fact I could not get around as fast as I used to.   I have other health problems going on too.  

Could the job I had been doing contribute to the fact I have this disease?   Thank you.



Sorry to hear of your problem.

Your questions are very specific about your personal situation, and there is no way I can directly answer you.  At best I can only respond in broad generalities.

Based on the way you present your brief history, it certainly sounds like you have a classic situation for Dupuytrens.  Your Scandinavian descent, age, rapid onset, and heavy repetitious work with your hands are all very familiar to me as I communicate with men and women with Dupuytrens.   So in this sense you nicely fit the Dupuytren’s profile.

Since the exact cause of Dupuytren’s contracture is not known or established, at this time it is often referred to as a condition of multifactoral causation.  It is explained often that DC is a hereditary condition that may or may not appear during the course of a person’s life dependent upon the occurrence of a sufficient trigger(s) to start the disease process.  Hand trauma is often listed as a primary triggering factor.  Liver and lung disease, as well as diabetes, are also common trigger factors.  Since you mentioned that you have other health problems going on currently, my guess is that one or more of  your other heatlh problems fall into these categories. 

If you put all of this together it appears that the answer to your question why your Dupuytrens suddenly showed up last year, is that you finally added enough stresses to your overall health and to your hands in particular to tip the scales against you.   

For this reason it is difficult, if not impossible, to say that your Dupuytren’s contracture is a work-related problem since there are hereditary factors at play in your history and this cannot be dismissed.   As with many health problems, it appears that a few factors finally caught up with you and caused your genetic predisposition to finally express itself in your hands.   

Since you say that your hand lumps looked much worse when you were working,  I suggest that it might be possible for to assist your recovery by using the ideas on the DCI website to heal your hand problem.   You will never know until you try.  If you need any help, please let me know.   TRH

Dupuytren Cause Could Be Related to Drugs

Prescriptions drugs indirectly related to Dupuytren cause

The cause of Dupuytren contracture remains unknown, but is logically most often attributed to trauma to the hand.  However, it is age, genetic predisposition and liver cirrhosis related to alcoholism that are more strongly associated with the causation of this problem.  While trauma (either small repeated injuries as with a bricklayer, or a large one-time injury as with a fall or crushing trauma), can be implicated in some cases, its relationship is not statistically significant.

Refuting the idea that trauma is a casual factor for Dupuytren hand and finger contracture are a few simple observations.  It has been frequently noted that the hand that actually develops the hand lump of Dupuytren is very often the side opposite the side of handedness; it is assumed that right handed workers would sustain more trauma to their right hand, yet these right handed people often develop a Dupuytren contracture on the opposite or left hand, and vice versa.    Also, it has been observed that people who have sustained significant past trauma to a hand will later develop a bump on palm of the hand on the opposite side to which significant trauma cannot be recalled.

In those who already have age, gender (male), genetic predisposition and liver disease in their history working against them, it would be wise for this group of people to pay close attention to drug intake that might potentially overwhelm the immune defense response to allow development of Dupuytren contracture.

While no single drug or drug family has been implicated in causing Dupuytren hand contracture, there is a potential for many drugs to initiate this problem via the indirect mechanism by causing liver disease and cirrhosis usually associated with alcoholism.

As a general guideline, this list is provided to demonstrate some of the many drugs that affect the liver to one degree or another.

Drugs that may cause acute dose-dependent liver damage

  • acetaminophen
  • salicylates (doses over 2 grams daily)

Drugs that may cause acute dose-independent liver damage

  • acebutolol
  • labetalol
  • quinine
  • indomethacin
  • phenylbutazone
  • allopurinol
  • isoniazid
  • phenytoin
  • lisinopril
  • atenolol
  • ketoconazole
    • piroxicam
      ·  carbamazepine
      ·  cimetidine
    • maprotiline
    • pyrazinamide
    • dantrolene
    • metoprolol
    • quinidine
      • diclofenac
        ·  probenecid
      • cimetidine
      • maprotiline
      • pyrazinamide
      • dantrolene
      • metoprolol
      • quinidine
        • diclofenac
          ·  penecillins
        • mianserin
          ·  phenelzine
        • tricyclic antidepressants
        • halothane
        • phenindione
        • valproic acid
        • ibuprofen
        • phenobarbital
          • verapamil
  • ethionamide

The bottom line concerning all these drugs is that every one of them has side-effects and ways of complicating the problem of someone who is already sick.  Drugs should be used with great reserve and discretion, and avoided if at all possible.

If you are man in a higher age, with a history of Dupuytren contracture in your family and you have a history of cirrhosis or heavy alcohol consumption, you would be wise to speak to your doctor if you are taking any of the above drugs because you could be stressing our liver and putting yourself at further risk of Dupuytren contracture.

Once Dupuytren contracture is present and someone learns that there is no known medical treatment available other than risky surgery, consider using Alternative Medicine as a Dupuytren contracture treatment option.  This is an option that the Dupuytren Contracture Institute has researched and developed since 2002, with considerable success.