Foot pain and disability in individuals with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS): impact on daily life activities

Disabil Rehabil. 2005 Feb 18;27(4):164-9. doi: 10.1080/09638280400009352.


Purpose: To investigate the amount and severity of podiatric problems in individuals with EDS as well as the consequences on daily life activities, and to compare these results with the results from a comparison group of the general population.

Method: The Manchester Foot Pain and Disability Schedule (MFPDS) and a demographic and foot-specific form were mailed.

Results: One hundred and thirty-six individuals with EDS and 292 from the comparison group responded. The median MFPDS total score in the EDS group was 33 (range 17-49) (mean 32, SD 8) and in the comparison group 17 (range 17-41) (mean 19, SD 4) (P < 0.001). The items most frequently marked with 3 points in the EDS group were: 'I avoid standing for a long time', 'I catch the bus or use the care more often', and 'I get irritable when my feet hurt' (56, 46 and 43%, respectively). When comparing the NRS score (i.e. Numeric Rating Scale) regarding pain intensity between the EDS group (median 5) and the comparison group (median 0), a statistically significant difference was found (P < 0.001). Other foot problems than pain were reported by 73% (n = 100) of the EDS group and by 21% (n = 60) of the comparison group (P < 0.001). The presence of flat feet in the EDS group and the comparison group was reported by 55% (n = 75) and 8% (n = 23) respectively.

Conclusion: Individuals' with EDS endure difficulties with their mobility due to their foot problems and related disability. It is therefore of utmost importance to find ways to assess the actual foot status for this group and to support the individuals with solutions to their problems with ambulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome / classification
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome / psychology
  • Female
  • Foot Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires