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What Is Medical Grade Footwear?

mgfHaving an unusually shaped foot or functional impairment of the lower limb is often grounds for the prescription of medical grade footwear (MGF). This may be exacerbated if you have an underlying medical condition such as diabetes, severe arthritis or many other afflictions.

Characteristics of MGF include shoes that possess a deeper than usual toe-box (to perhaps accommodate clawed or malaligned digits), and a seam free upper (to minimise irritation and risk of skin breakdown (particularly for those individuals with diabetes and /or peripheral neuropathy). Support, stability, cushioning, and proprioception are also important. Ideally, a non-slip sole will also be a characteristic of the MGF. Further modifications may include a Velcro secure (for ease of fastening the shoes), or even a rocker bottom sole (to aid in ambulation). Often a MGF will also possess extra depth and width throughout the shoes. This will allow for the accommodation of odeama, orthoses, bony irregularities or perhaps an ankle-foot-orthosis. A neoprene, or stretch upper, may also be beneficial when fitting these anomalies of the foot.

MGF may be off-the-shelf shoes, or custom made. Custom made MGF are made to the individual’s foot, often after taking a mould or an impression. This is of particular benefit for those with markedly asymmetrical feet. Instances such as trauma, amputation or bunions, may make it clinically necessary for a custom MGF to be made.

The prescription of MGF aims to prevent further pain and disease in the feet and lower limbs. Comfort, and properly fitting shoes for the prevention of falls, is also imperative.

Depending on your level of cover, private health funds may provide some rebate on MGF, more typically those custom made. To be sure, check with your individual health fund.

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We have HICAPS available in our clinic, which means that our patients can claim from their private health fund straight away

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Shop 2/17-19 East Parade
Sutherland, NSW 2232

Tel: 02 9542 3491