Ledderhose disease treatment

Many people with Ledderhose initially cope by making changes to their footwear, along with gentle stretching, massage and icing of the soles of the affected foot. If the nodules grow to the extent that walking or standing is painful then further treatment options should be investigated. There is no NICE guidance for treatment on the NHS of Ledderhose or Plantar Fibromatosis

Treatment will depend on the severity of the disease, and may include:

Steroid injections: injected into the lumps: this can shrink the lumps and reduce the pain.

Physiotherapy: stretching exercises, massage, and splints to prevent contractures or stiffening of the foot.

Orthotics: special inserts in shoes may reduce pressure on the lump and reduce pain when walking.

Soft arch supports and padding help cushion the nodules. Holes can be cut in the inserts to reduce pressure on the nodules.

Ledderhose is probably due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Mechanical strain in the CT band (calf to toes muscles and tendons) may be one factor. If this is the case, then reducing the strain with calf stretches

exercises) or heel lifts (inserts) could help. This will not cure Ledderhose, but may make the symptoms less painful (and is a lot less invasive than surgery).

If you wish to follow this route, consult a podiatrist or foot care professional.

Radiotherapy to stop the progression of the disease and hopefully shrink the lumps. Available privately in the UK but not available on the NHS.

Surgery is usually performed only as a last resort if the size of nodules prevent walking or are very painful. Recurrence of the nodules or new growth is common. Also a hard scar may result which can be just as painful as the original nodules.

Our partner site provides a more comprehensive discussion on the options for treating Ledderhose.

Alternative treatments (not available in the UK on NHS):

Collagenase (Xiapex) injections have been tried but the results were not convincing. Larger scale trials are being considered.

Verapamil: gel has been used in the USA. As for Peyronie’s disease the cost seems to be the biggest problem. Its effectiveness is not proven.

Cryosurgery: freezing the affected tissue, by inserting probes in it and cooling the probes to a temperature where the tissue will die. This treatment is approved by the FDA for use in the U.S. YouTube video.

It is possible to have cryosurgery done private in the UK.

Anti inflammatory or anti- rheumatic: drugs to reduce pain and inflammation.

Extra corporeal shockwaves: there is a trial going on in Germany to assess the effect of this treatment. It is not performed in th UK for Ledderhose (but is used for Plantar Fasciitis).

Imiquimod (a cream that softens lumps, sold under the brand name of Aldara) was being tried by several Ledderhose sufferers back in 2006, but we haven’t seen any mention of successful results, so it is probably ineffective for Ledderhose.

Further reading:

Podiatry Today (US) article on handling Ledderhose disease.

Patient experience:

One persons personal experience of living with Ledderhose disease. This includes discussions on the options for a treatment and a personal account of treatment via Radiotherapy in the UK, and interviews with other patients.