Physical Therapy for Dupuytren’s Contracture

Georgia Hand, Shoulder, and Elbow

Dupuytren’s contracture is a condition that affects the finger joints and causes them to bend toward the palm of the hand. It is a progressive disorder that can make it difficult for individuals to perform everyday tasks, such as holding a pen or making a fist.


Occupational and physical therapy are commonly used after Dupuytren’s contracture surgery.  They can be designed to help improve joint function, increase mobility, and reduce pain post-operatively.

If you are looking for relief after Dupuytren’s contracture surgery, we have the answer. Get started on the road to recovery by contacting us today at Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow. 

Learn how physical and rehabilitation therapy can help reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Call one of our offices in Georgia today to schedule a consultation!

What Is Dupuytren’s Contracture?

Dupuytren’s contracture is a disease that affects the skin and connective tissue in the hands. It is characterized by the thickening and swelling of the fascia, a layer of tissue that covers the tendons in the palm of the hand. This thickening can cause the fingers to bend towards the palm, making it difficult to straighten them fully. 

The disease typically develops slowly over time and can affect one or both hands. The exact cause of Dupuytren’s contracture is unknown, but it is believed to be related to genetics and aging. The thickening and swelling of the fascia can make it difficult for the tendons to move freely, leading to the characteristic bend in the fingers.

Dupuytren’s contracture can be a debilitating condition that affects daily activities, such as holding objects, making a fist, or performing fine motor tasks. It is essential to seek treatment for Dupuytren’s contracture to help preserve hand function and improve quality of life.

How Does Physical Therapy Help Dupuytren’s Contracture?

Physical therapy plays an important role in the management of Dupuytren’s contracture post-operatively. Factors such as the severity of the contracture, the overall health of the patient, and their age can influence the success of this therapy. However, it can still be a highly effective way to manage the symptoms of Dupuytren’s contracture. 

Through regular therapy sessions, patients can improve the range of motion in their affected hand, increase their strength and dexterity, and reduce the progression of the contracture. This therapy is often combined with other treatments, such as splinting and medication, making it a crucial component of a comprehensive management plan for Dupuytren’s contracture.

Rehabilitation therapy can help to restore normal movement and strength in the hands and fingers after surgery. This is an essential step in allowing full recovery from this condition.

Physical therapy can also help patients learn strategies to cope with pain or stiffness related to Dupuytren’s contracture that could arise during everyday activities. Overall, rehabilitation therapy can be an invaluable tool in helping to reduce the symptoms of Dupuytren’s contracture after surgery and restore function to the hand.

What Physical Therapy Methods Are Used After Dupuytren’s Contracture Surgery?

To help manage discomfort after Dupuytren’s Contracture surgery, a specialist will use a combination of exercises and techniques to improve the range of motion, reduce pain and stiffness, and maintain or improve the overall function of the affected hand. 

Some of the physical therapy exercises used after Dupuytren’s Contracture surgery include:

  • Active range of motion (AROM) exercises: This exercise involves moving the affected fingers as much as possible with assistance from another person or a device, such as a rubber band. The goal is to maintain flexibility and prevent further progression of the contracture. 
  • Passive Range Of Motion (PROM) exercises: This involves stretching the contracted joint through gentle movements done by another person. This type of exercise is used to increase flexibility and decrease pain. 
  • Isometric exercises: This type of exercise involves applying pressure against the affected joint without movement, which helps to stretch and strengthen the surrounding muscles. It can be done with or without assistance from another person.
  • Grip-strengthening exercises: These exercises involve squeezing a rubber ball or other soft object in order to strengthen the affected hand muscles and improve grip strength. This will help maintain the function of the fingers and may help prevent further progression of the condition.

What Happens if I Stop Physical Therapy Post-Opertatively?

If someone stops physical therapy after their Dupuytren’s contracture surgery, the effects could be detrimental to their health. Pain can increase because muscles, tendons, and other tissues have not been stretched in the proper way. Without regular stretching and exercise, the areas of contracture may become tighter and more limited in the range of motion.

Call Us Today!

If you have Dupuytren’s contracture and will soon be addressing your discomfort with surgery, call Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow in Marietta or Atlanta, GA today to learn about which kind of therapy is the right choice for you! 

Our experienced healthcare professionals offer specialized treatment plans to meet the individual needs of each patient. From occupational therapy to several rehabilitation therapy methods, our team will create a regimen that works best for you.

Medically reviewed by

Randall Alexander, MD

Hand & Orthopaedic Surgeon

Hand & Orthopaedic Surgeon

Hand & Plastic Surgeon

Hand & Orthopaedic Surgeon

Hand & Orthopaedic Surgeon

Hand & Orthopaedic Surgeon

Hand & Orthopaedic Surgeon

Hand & Orthopaedic Surgeon