If you have been diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT disease), then you have likely spent hours researching the condition to understand how it will impact your mobility in the years to come. Millions of people are affected by the disease across the world, and more than 125,000 people are estimated to suffer from it in the United States.
Helping patients who have CMT disease is one of our primary focuses here at Cornell Orthotics & Prosthetics, and we have developed many strategies that have proven effective for managing the unique issues that accompany the disease. Today, we will provide information about CMT disease, its symptoms, and how custom orthotics, like an ankle-foot orthosis (AFO brace), can enhance your mobility. Contact us to learn more about our orthotic services!
CMT Disease FAQs
What Is CMT Disease?
CMT disease is a progressive, debilitating genetic disease, and it is one of the most common hereditary neuropathy conditions worldwide. The disease causes a disruption or weakness in the nerve signals, which in turn causes muscle wasting and decreases sensory and motor function in those who have it. As you might suspect, this results in patients having difficulty ambulating without the assistance of custom orthotics. CMT disease is caused by a genetic malfunction, and the condition is usually hereditary, affecting between 60 and 70 percent of family members. To learn more about the disease, its subtypes, and treatments, visit our Charcot-Marie-Tooth page.
What Are the Symptoms?
CMT may exhibit a broad range of symptoms in varying degrees of severity. Even members of the same family may find their symptoms differ. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Extremely high arches and hammertoes
- Clumsiness, loss of balance, and fatigue
- Lack of confidence in walking
- Ankle weakness
- Foot drop and/or an awkward, guarded gait
- Burning and/or numbness in the feet and hands
- Cramps in hands and legs
- Difficulty with kneeling, stooping, running, climbing, and jumping
- Difficulty opening jars and bottles
- Decreased ability to grab and hold onto objects
Can Custom Orthotics Help?
Similar to the progressive nature of the condition’s symptoms, disease-related deformities happen slowly over time. Eventually, they can severely limit a patient’s mobility. Thankfully, our in-depth knowledge of this disease and our experience designing custom orthotics for patients has allowed us to design AFO braces that can help enhance your mobility.
After using our AFO braces, many patients experience a reduction in or elimination of foot drop, corrected deformities, and a restored weight line. The result is often reduced fatigue, a restored gait, enhanced balance, and other benefits that allow patients to walk faster and easier with increased confidence. While there is no cure for the disease, obtaining high-quality custom AFO braces can help reduce the effects of the symptoms. At Cornell Orthotics & Prosthetics, we have a wide variety of custom braces that you can try to determine the best fit for your needs.
AFO Braces for CMT Disease in Beverly, MA
Are you ready to discover the many ways in which an AFO brace can enhance your mobility? If so, then Cornell Orthotics & Prosthetics is here for you. Our very own Ken Cornell is the attending orthotist at the CMTA Center of Excellence in Boston, and he has been directly involved in researching and presenting information on the disease for more than 20 years.
With this invaluable experience and our passion for helping you lead your most healthy, successful life, we are confident that our custom orthotics will provide you with the comfort and stability you have been searching for. Contact us today to learn more about our AFO braces for CMT disease and other custom orthotics services — we can’t wait to speak with you!