Glossary

Tissue
Our body tissue is made up of groups of cells that perform a specific job, such as protecting the body against infection, producing movement or storing fat. 

Collagen
A natural protein that is found in many tissues throughout the body, such as tendons, ligaments and skin, providing strength, elasticity and flexibility. Collagen is also found in the connective tissue that forms the contractures in Dupuytren's disease.

Diabetes
A long-term condition caused by an overload of glucose, a type of sugar, in the blood. 

Tethering
When skin appears as though it is being pulled from the inside. 

Pitting
Small, but deep, indentation of the skin that is another sign of Dupuytren's disease, caused by contraction of connective tissue fibers. 

General anaesthetic
A type of anaesthesia (a medication that causes loss of sensation). It is used for pain relief during surgical procedures. A general anaesthetic makes you lose consciousness in order for surgery to be performed without causing pain or distress. 

Local anaesthetic
A type of painkilling medicine that is used during some surgical procedures to numb the area of the body that is receiving treatment. 

Skin graft
Healthy skin is removed from another part of the body and attached to the wound on the hand. 

Ligaments
Tough bands of soft, white and flexible tissue. 

Anticonvulsant drugs
Anticonvulsant drugs are used to control seizures in people with epilepsy.

Fasciectomy
A treatment option for Dupuytren's contracture where the connective tissue is completely removed. This is usually used for more advanced or
recurrent contractures. 

Fasciotomy
A treatment option for Dupuytren's contracture where the connective tissue is cut to relieve tension. This is usually used for mild contractures. 

Intralesional treatment
A non-surgical treatment where a substance is injected directy into a Dupuytren's cord. 

Radiation therapy
A general term that refers to any sort of energy that can travel through space as either a wave or a particle. Radiation therapy involves the affected hand being placed under an x-ray or electron beam machine and then radiation is applied to the lumps in the palm. This is repeated over several consecutive days.

Splint
A plastic or wooden device used to immobilise the finger, In Dupuytren's contracture a splint may be used after surgical or non-surgical treatment to help the finger recover.

Steroids
A synthetic hormone based treatment.