Palmar fibromatosis

by Jason Wasserman MD PhD FRCPC
August 25, 2022

What is palmar fibromatosis?

Palmar fibromatosis is a non-cancerous growth found on the flexor (palm) side of the hand. Other names for this condition are Dupuytren’s disease or Dupuytren’s contracture.

Is palmar fibromatosis a type of cancer?

No. Palmar fibromatosis is a non-cancerous growth.

What is the difference between palmar fibromatosis and plantar fibromatosis?

These two conditions are very similar. However, palmar fibromatosis involves the hand while plantar fibromatosis involves the foot.

What causes palmar fibromatosis?

Palmar fibromatosis may be associated with diabetes, cigarette smoking, alcoholism, and repetitive trauma to the hand. However, at present, the cause of palmar fibromatosis remains unknown.

What are the symptoms of palmar fibromatosis?

For most people, palmar fibromatosis develops slowly over time with very few symptoms. Later, small painless bumps may be seen on the flexor side (palm) of the hand. If left untreated contractures may develop. These are abnormally firm areas of tissue that often prevent the fingers from moving normally.

How is the diagnosis of palmar fibromatosis made?

Your doctor may suspect that you have palmar fibromatosis after talking to you and examining your hands. The diagnosis can also be made after the abnormal tissue is surgically removed and sent to a pathologist for examination under the microscope.

What does palmar fibromatosis look like under the microscope?

When examined under the microscope, palmar fibromatosis is made up of specialized cells called fibroblasts or myofibroblasts surrounded by a type of connective tissue called collagen. Most pathology reports use the term spindle cells to describe these cells because they are long and thin. The number of both fibroblasts and myofibroblasts is greater early on and decreases over time.

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