When the client first came to Happy Feet Pedorthics she presented with very severe lymphoedema and was in the first stages of seeing allied health professionals to reduce the fluid. The client was receiving ongoing treatment from a physiotherapist/lymphoedema specialist and was maintaining the health of her feet with a podiatrist.
At the initial assessment the client walked in with the imitation crocs (which are softer and less supportive than the actual brand “crocs”) as she had not been able to wear any kind of shoe unless it was cut down at the dorsal surface to allow for the swelling in her feet. At Happy Feet Pedorthics we were able to fit her feet into some shoes. However the client was going through the Statewide Equipment Program (SWEP) for financial assistance and would have to wait a long time (currently up to 2 years) before supply if her application was successful. In that period the client managed to significantly reduce the severity of her lymphoedema.
Lymphoedema is the accumulation of lymphatic fluid in the interstitial tissue that causes swelling, most often in the arms and/or legs. People with lymphoedema have full sensation of the limb, skin feeling tight, decreased flexibility and joints, and difficulty fitting clothes/shoes. Lymphoedema has a number of stages from mild to severe and can occur early or later in life.
Properly fitted depth shoes, or custom shoes dependent of severity, possibly with an accommodative orthoses to offload plantar pressure and compression therapy to help the movement of fluids were considered for this client by Happy Feet Pedorthics. Strap extensions and upper modifications to accommodate swelling in ankle and dorsal aspect of the foot were also a possibility. Additional inserts to add or remove as swelling changes over the day was also discussed as an easy way to have an adjustable fit.
Congratulations are in order for the client and the allied health team – with weight loss, podiatry care, and compression therapy there was a choice of prefabricated extra width and depth footwear with modifications, available to the client.
“Being able to wear shoes again after not finding anything for approximately 3yrs was great. Finding shoes that fit properly and being comfortable and the proper size for my feet was heaven. Thanks to Clare and everyone at Happy Feet Pedorthics my feet were and continue to be very happy.” The Client
C Ped CM AU