BDS logoFolk with Dupuytren'sPlaying Dulcimer


mandolin close

strumming from above

me strumming


This is Trevor Ryder's website - raising awareness of Dupuytren's contracture through folk music

Dupuytren's Contracture

nodulesDupuytren’s contracture is a benign thickening of the connective tissue, or fascia, of the palm and fingers. It usually starts with a tiny lump, called a nodule, in the palm. Eventually string-like cords develop beneath the skin, and if the condition progresses the affected fingers are pulled towards the palm and cannot be straightened anymore.

The symptoms are often mild and can be painless and may not require treatment. However, it is a progressive condition that gets worse over time. If one or more fingers become permanently bent, it can make daily activities, such as buttoning up a shirt, difficult. Playing a musical instrument may obviously become challenging, if not impossible.

bent fingersDupuytren’s disease is a fairly common condition. It tends to affect more men than women, and often occurs in later life. It can affect up to 20% of men above 60, and 20% of women who are over 80 years old. Not every patient develops a contracture and needs treatment, the disease can become dormant at any stage.

Dupuytren’s disease is most commonly found in white Europeans, and it is known to run in families. There is a strong genetic component. For more information visit the British Dupuytren's Society website at, or click on the British Dupuytren's Society logo wherever you see it on this website.

My Dupuytren's

I started developing the first signs of Dupuytren's in my late forties. Although I was a Geography teacher by profession I was also an amateur classical guitarist, good enough to give occasional recitals and guitar lessons at the school where I taught. My plan was always to continue to play and teach classical guitar after retiring from mainstream teaching. Just looking at the pictures on this page should be enough to explain why Dupuytren's put an end to that ambition.

By my mid-fifties, I'd had two operations under general anaesthetic on my left hand and one on my right. Two more operations on my left hand were done in 2019 (see photo, right) and this year. These operations have left both hands with limited dexterity and manual strength and, due to nerve damage, I have incomplete feeling in the fingers and palm of the left hand.

My experience of Dupuytren's shows that it is never cured, and it won't just go away.

(By the way, don't be too sympathetic - the bend at the top of the little finger has nothing to do with Dupuytren's - it's the result of a failed attempt at catching a cricket ball).

About Folk with Dupuytren's

Folk with Dupuytren's is my way of promoting increased awareness of this debilitating condition, and maybe helping to develop treatments that don't involve invasive surgery. I especially hope that one day this may of some benefit, no matter how small, to both professional and amateur musicians.


The last section of this first page is a massive thankyou to all the friends, family, ex-pupils and former colleagues who have already donated and made the recording and production of Scorn not the Strings possible. Being the recipient of this support has been a humbling experience, and I can't really find appropriate words that express my gratitude. In no particular order, my thanks go to;

Alan and Lynne Ryder; Amanda Bridgwater; Andrew Brown; Anne and Peter Williams; Antonia and Richard Gould; the Brue Boys (Choir for Men); Pennie and Tim Burne; Caroline Gilbert; Claire Harding; Dan Woodward; David Milford; Sue and Derek de Glanville; Duncan Courts; Emma Wainman; Paul Roberts; Freddie Claire; Liz Guildford; Lyn and Roger Huish; James Nicolle; Andy Jameson; J D Faulks; Jenn Botterill; Jon Kay; Jonny Rowan; Mary-Beth and Jeremy Greenop; Michael Cock; Norman and Charmian Wright; Patricia Steed; Paul and Caughlin Ryder; Paul Kelland; Amy and Peter Harding; Peter Davis and Becky Callard; Rebecca Wilson; Richard Hallward; Richard Stanyer; Roger Edwards; Robb Whiteman; Seb Haig; Tom and Lucy Harding; Tracy Ridge; DMS (Disc Manufacturing Services), Plymouth.

Lastly - but certainly not least - many thanks to Sue and Robert Peto for lending me their house for the location shots on this website and on the cover of Scorn not the Strings and also to Tom Harding for taking the photos.