Radiotherapy for plantar fibromatosis (Ledderhose disease)

Plantar fibromatosis, also known as Ledderhose disease, is when lumps (nodules) form on the feet or toes. They can cause the toes to curl under and may affect how you walk. Plantar fibromatosis is a benign (not cancer) condition.

Radiotherapy can be used to treat plantar fibromatosis. Radiotherapy stops, or slows down, the progression of the condition and reduces the size of the lumps on your foot.

Causes of plantar fibromatosis

Plantar fibromatosis happens when hard lumps form on the arch (bottom) of your feet. Sometimes lumps also start growing around the toes. The lumps can be round or flat. This can lead to cords of soft tissue developing, and toes might curl under. It can affect one or both feet.

The lumps are usually painless. However, as they grow they can become painful. In severe cases can grow to a size where they affect how you walk.

Preparing for treatment

Your radiotherapy planning appointment and treatment will be at the Cancer Centre at Guy’s Hospital. The appointment will last about 30 minutes.

The doctor will tell you about radiotherapy and any possible side effects. They will plan your treatment specifically for you.

You'll be asked to lie down and keep your foot still. The doctor will feel the lumps and put pen marks on the areas to be treated. 

The radiographer will take measurements and write down where on your foot will be treated. They will, with your consent, take a photograph of your foot. They may make a custom cut-out for your foot. This is a thin sheet of lead that is placed on your foot to protect the skin that does not need treatment.

You may also have a CT scan to help plan your treatment.

We want to involve you in decisions about your care and treatment. If you decide to go ahead, you will be asked to sign a consent form. This confirms that you understand what the treatment involves, and agree to have it. 

If you would like more information about our consent process, please speak to a member of staff caring for you.

Leaflet number: 5167/VER3
Date published: June 2023
Review date: June 2026

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Contact us

If you have questions about radiotherapy, please contact:

Radiotherapy reception, phone 020 7188 7188, extension 57542 or 57569.

Radiotherapy treatment support team, phone 020 7188 4220, Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm.

Outside normal hours, please contact the main switchboard, phone 020 7188 7188 and ask for ‘operator’ or press 0. Ask for the on-call clinical oncology registrar.

Do you have any comments or concerns about your care?

Contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

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