Thyroid UK

Pretibial Myxedema

Hi to all of you.

As the heading states I have swollen feet and ankles my big toe is huge. I was diagnosed with Graves Disease and am now hypothyroid all of this happened 10 to 12 years ago! Dermatology have referred me to see a Plastic Surgeon with a view to maybe operating. Does anyone have any experience at all of this or any advice they could pass on.

I have been told by Dermatology that this is rare and will not get worse but I fear they may be wrong. I also have clubbing of the hands.

Any advice or feedback would be great.


2 Replies

Adara13, Thyroid dermopathy is an extreme and relatively uncommon manifestation of autoimmune disease, usually Graves, but sometimes Hashimoto's too.

Pretibial myxoedema - due to accumulation of glycosaminoglycans. This is but one form of dermopathy and occurs in about 40% of patients with Graves' disease. It causes non-pitting pink/purple plaques of oedema just above the lateral malleolus. Thyroid dermopathy can occur anywhere, particularly in sites of trauma. <5% have pretibial myxoedema called thyroid dermopathy (as can occur anywhere, particularly following trauma). This is usually associated with moderate to severe ophthalmopathy. Thyroid dermopathy usually appears as non-pitting plaques with pink/purple colour. There are also nodular and generalised forms.

Thyroid acropachy is a type of dermopathy affecting the hands and causes clubbing with painful swelling of digits.

No specific treatment for acropachy of thyroid disease is available, other than systemic immunosuppressive therapy and local corticosteroid therapy. These treatments usually are directed at associated ophthalmopathy and dermopathy.


Thanks Clutter!


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