Charcotte Marie Tooth Disease Condition

Charcot Marie Tooth Disease (CMT) is a hereditary disorder found world wide in all races. It was discovered in 1886 by three physicians, Jean-Marie-Charcot, Pierre Marie and Howard Tooth.

CMT is a degeneration of the peroneal nerves which causes wasting of the peroneal muscles, loss of sensation and a severe cavus or “claw foot”. The high arched foot is one of the first signs of this disorder. As the disease progresses, structural foot deformities take place. Foot drop and ankle sprains are frequent. The progressive muscle wasting leads to problems with walking, running and balance. Patients with foot drop lift their knees unusually high resulting in a high steppage gait. In some patients muscle weakness may occur in the upper leg. Flat foot can also be seen. Hand function also becomes affected because of progressive muscle atrophy, making acts like writing difficult. The loss of nerve function in the extremities also leads to sensory loss. The ability to distinguish hot and cold is diminished as well as touch. There is no cure for CMT however custom biomechanical orthotics and modified shoes can provide for a more balanced gait. An A.F.O. (ankle foot orthosis) and leg braces are used in more advanced cases and can reduce the energy used in walking. Wheel chairs, scooters and possibly surgery are suggested for the most advanced cases. Physical therapy is used to maintain strength, flexibility and function.

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