When I was seven I underwent surgery on my left foot for what the surgeon thought was a ganglion, the lump was about the size of a pea, was located in the arch of the foot, and was causing discomfort whilst wearing certain shoes.A straight incision was made in the sole of my foot approximately 40mm long.After pathology testing of the lump it was discovered that I had Ledderhose Disease (Although I was told it was Dupuytrenís Disease of the feet).

Two years later the lump had grown back and was two lumps, one the size of a pea and a second smaller lump beside it, and was at a point where it needed to be removed again.Whilst the lump was regrowing, various treatments were trialled (Twice daily Vitamin E cream, Comfrey ointment are two that I can remember) with weekly measurements made of the lump by my father, however the lump had continued to grow.This time the incision was a cross on the sole of my foot 50mm long and 20mm wide.After this my GP referred me to a plastic surgeon that had experience with Dupuytrenís Disease, and was informed that the lump should not have been operated on in the first place.

Over the next eight years the lumps regrew and reached a point where I was again experiencing difficulties walking and wearing shoes.Surgery was again the option of choice and the lumps, this time three distinct nodules were removed through a 60mm curved incision.

Three years later I had the lumps removed a fourth time through a 90mm curved incision, and was informed that if it regrew the only way to remove it for certain would be to undergo skin grafts to the sole of my foot.At this time I also had a Garrodís pad removed from the PIP Joint of my left middle finger.

After a further seven years, the lump had regrown and a lump was also present in my right foot, as well as mild thickening and initial cord formation around the cord of the flexor tendon of my right ring finger.I again consulted a surgeon and was encouraged to wait and not undergo surgery unless I absolutely had to.It was nice to have a surgeon that didnít want to jump straight in with the knife (This could be as he also suffers from Dupuytrenís Disease).He believed that there would be major advances in treatment of this disease, and if I could wait and put up with the pain and discomfort better treatment may be available.That was when I was 28.

I am 36, male, Caucasian.My father had Dupuytrenís contracture to his left hand treated surgically six years ago; his father did not appear to have the disease.I am in constant pain due to the lumps in both my feet, especially when walking; it is like walking with small marbles in your shoes.The lump in my left foot is 25mm diameter and 15mm thick, that in my right foot is 15mm diameter and 10mm thick.In my hand the cord is 30mm long and 10mm wide and 4mm thick, and only hurts when hit or bump it, or when I over extend my fingers.I also have Garrodís pads on my Left Ring finger PIPJ, Right Thumb IPJ, Right Index, Ring and Little finger PIPJ.

For me, I would say surgery is not the way to treat the disease unless it is impacting too greatly on your life, fixed flexion of fingers or inability to walk.The pain I put up with but am regularly woken at night with aching in my feet.Hopefully trials will soon be finished on collagenase and maybe there will even be gene therapy or stem cell research that may help.I hope that this happens before I give in to the pain and undergo surgery for the fifth time.The skin grafts that had been mentioned earlier were not recommended by my current surgeon unless there was no other option as grafts to the sole of the foot have a higher failure rate than other areas of the body.