Home » Hand » Dupuytren’s Contracture » “The Curse of the MacCrimmons”

“The Curse of the MacCrimmons”

Adapted from The British Dupuytren’s Society

Dupuytren’s contracture has long been associated with people of northern European descent and has often been nicknamed ‘The Viking Disease’.

The story may not be that simple, thought, as prehistoric cases (like one Egyptian mummy) that are clearly pre-Viking has been described and the fact that the Japanese with no Viking ancestry at all have a high incidence of Dupuytren’s.

There is, however one interesting story about how it all started, at least in Scotland- with a Curse.

Legend has it that, a long time ago,  in Scotland, the MacCrimmons were the pipers of the Clan MacLeod, the chieftains of the Island of Skye. One MacCrimmon woman by the name of Annag gave the piping secrets to her lover, a MacPherson, by the removal of several of her fingers. The angry woman foretold that the MacCrimmons would cease to be the official pipers to the MacLeods would leave the Isle of Skye forever.

And so it came to pass. The fingers of many MacCrimmon pipers bent so far into their palms that they became unable to play the bagpipes any more. And from that day to this, any piper who suffers from Dupuytren’s Contracture will tell you that he has been affected by the Curse of the MacCrimmons.

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