DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Dupuytrens contracture. A patient's hand showing the little finger fixed in a bent position. This disorder is caused by the finger's tendon (which joins finger bones to muscles in the arm) becoming stuck to the skin of the palm. Affected fingers (often on both hands at once) start to bend more and more over a period of months, and cannot be pulled straight. Why this happens is not entirely clear, although the condition is more common in alcoholics and in people whose work involves gripping tools. The only treatment is surgery to detach the stuck tendon from the overlying skin.
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