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Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) is a group of inherited conditions that damage the peripheral nerves. These nerves control the muscles and relay sensory information, such as the sense of touch, from the limbs to the brain.
People with CMT may have muscle weakness in the feet, ankles, legs and hands, an awkward way of walking (gait), highly arched or very flat feet, and numbness in the feet, arms and hands.
The symptoms of CMT usually start to appear between the ages of 5 and 15, although they sometimes don’t develop until well into middle age or later. CMT is a progressive condition. This means the symptoms slowly get worse, making everyday tasks increasingly difficult.
Treatment and Prevention
Currently, there are no effective treatments to reverse or slow the underlying disease process.
Supportive treatment is offered based on rehabilitation and surgical corrections of skeletal deformities. Patients should be managed by a multidisciplinary team which has experience of the disorder, including a Podiatrist, Neurologist, Geneticist, Podiatric Surgeon, Physiotherapist and Occupational therapist.
At We Fix Feet, we can provide supportive orthotic insoles to offload pressure caused by the structural pathologies and provide support to the arches of the feet. Orthotic insoles will help ease discomfort and prevent and reduce callus and corn formation on the skin.
What Causes Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease?
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) is caused by an inherited fault in one of the many genes responsible for the development of the peripheral nerves.
This fault means the nerves become damaged over time. A child with CMT may have inherited the genetic fault responsible for the disease from one or both of their parents.
There’s no single faulty gene that causes CMT. There are many varieties of CMT that are caused by different genetic faults and these can be inherited in several different ways.
The chances of passing CMT to your child depend on the specific genetic faults that you and your partner carry.