Dupuytren's contracture is a condition which can affect workers, particularly those in manual labour jobs who may be prone to over-use of their hands. The most obvious symptom of Dupuytren's Contracture is the bending of fingers in towards the palm of the hand.
This does not happen overnight, however, and can take years to fully develop. Over this period and up until the point when contraction occurs, the condition is simply known as Dupuytrens disease. The following list describes how symptoms might develop:
- An area of the connective tissue in the palm of the hand begins to thicken under the skin
- It forms a small hard lump (which is not cancerous)
- Further nodules develop, forming a thicker band of contracted tissue
- As this develops, the finger is pulled slightly in towards the palm, and cannot be extended properly
- Eventually the finger becomes permanently bent (Dupuytren's Contracture)
The condition can affect one or both hands, but usually the little finger and ring finger are the ones most affected.
According to the British Dupuytrens Society, Dupuytren's Contracture may be caused as a result of genetic predisposition, smoking, drinking, HIV, heart disease or diabetes. However, there is still debate about the causes of the condition.
One possible factor in the development of Dupuytrens Contracture may be workplace conditions. The Industrial Injuries Advisory Council has submitted a report to the department of Work and Pensions recommending that former miners affected by the condition should qualify for IIDB (Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit).
However, in order to qualify they must meet the following criteria:
- Suffer fixed flexion deformity in one or more digits
- Have used vibrating handheld power tools
- Have spent ten years working in the industry
Claim compensation for an industrial injury
If you have been diagnosed with an industrial injury such as Dupuytrens Contracture and would like to consider your possible right to compensation, talk to an expert on 0800 0891331.
Thompsons is Scotland's leading personal injury firm, and can enable you to mount a claim on a no win, no fee basis. We win more than 90% of the cases we take on.