About Ledderhose disease
Ledderhose disease, sometimes called Plantar Fibromatosis or ‘Dupuytren’s of the foot’, is characterised by lumps called nodules on the underside of the foot. These are caused by a thickening in the deep connective tissue (the fascia) in the foot and can cause discomfort or pain when walking. The overlying skin is freely movable. Ledderhose occurs in both feet (bilateral) in about 25% of patients.
Cords can also develop along the line of the tendons, but they are rare. Ledderhose is said to affect 10 times more men than women.
Many patients that have Ledderhose also have a related condition, possibly Dupuytren’s in the hand, Garrod’s pads on the knuckles, or Peyronie’s.
Between 5 and 25% of Dupuytren’s patients will also have Ledderhose disease, and around 50% of Ledderhose patients will also have Dupuytren’s disease.
Contracture of the toes is rare. If a toe is affected it tends to be the 2nd toe (next to the big toe).
Some tips on managing your life with Dupuytren’s or Ledderhose Disease can be found here.
Ledderhose is classed as a rare disease by the WHO. This means it can be difficult to find specialists, as it is not seen very often. We have joined Rare Disease Day the last few years to try raise awareness.
There are many other possible causes for nodules on the feet, apart from Ledderhose, so it is important to get a professional opinion.
A specialist will often be able to make the diagnosis by a physical examination of the foot. The location and appearance of the lumps can be specific enough to make the diagnosis. In other cases, ultrasound scans or MRI imaging can be used. X-rays don’t normally show anything relevant.
For more information read our trustee’s blog which contains a personal perspective, including photographs.