Lymphedema is a condition characterized by localized fluid retention and tissue swelling caused by a compromised lymphatic system. It most often affects a single limb creating fit issues with footwear. Compression stockings are commonly used to control swelling and reduce stresses on the stretched tissues.
Ready-made store-bought footwear can be used if the shoes open down low on the instep for adjustability (Fig. 1), and at times, 2 sizes must be purchased. A medium for the unaffected side and an extra wide for the swollen side. Sandals with adjustable straps or lacing will also accommodate a good bit of swelling (Fig. 2), and simple stretching is also effective as a first inexpensive resort.
$$ Pedorthist or Shoe Repair
Ready-made shoes can be modified to make them wider and more accommodating. It is most easily done with sandals by lengthening straps, but shoes can also be cut and split through the bottom to make them wider.
$$$ Pedorthist or Custom Shoe Maker
Custom-made footwear can accommodate nearly any size foot. Effort is always made to obscure the size discrepancy as much as possible.