What is a Charcot Marie Tooth Disease? How does it look like?
Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease is an inherited neurological condition that causes problems with the muscles of your feet, legs, arms and hands. Although there is currently no cure, people with CMT can use a variety of therapies and strategies to help manage their symptoms.
It is sometimes called “hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy”. CMT disease is not a single disease but a group of genetic conditions affecting the nervous system.
Named after the 3 doctors who first described it (Charcot, Marie and Tooth), CMT disease is a progressive condition, which means it tends to get worse over time. It affects people in different ways, but usually CMT disease doesn’t cause severe disability or reduce life expectancy.
CMT is most commonly characterised by a painful, high arched foot deformity (pes cavus). Pes Cavus/High arched foot looks like a bridge forming a curved shape.
What are the symptoms of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease?
Most people with CMT show the first signs of the condition by the age of 20. Problems usually develop first in the muscles that support the feet, then later in the hands. Symptoms vary from person to person, but can include:
- weakness and wasting of the leg muscles, causing problems with balance and walking
- problems with the feet, such as weak ankles and curled toes
- numbness and coldness of the hands and feet
- pain, usually as a result of walking abnormally
Moreover, the muscles that support the foot while walking are among the first to be affected by CMT so the first noticeable signs are often difficulty in walking because of problems picking up the feet. The toes drop as the foot is lifted, causing a tendency to trip and an awkward walking style. Also, children with CMT may be described as clumsy or not good at sport before any other symptoms are noticed. High arched feet can lead to instability of the foot and ankle, with twisting of the ankles becoming very common.
In addition, some people with CMT experience tremor in both the arms and legs. ‘Roussy-Levy Syndrome’ is the name for having severe tremor and CMT.
Do you have any of these symptoms? One of our podiatrist can assist you and help what treatment options are best for you. ✅
Schedule an appointment here or you may call us at 44 (0) 207 101 4000. 📞
We hope you have a feetastic day! 👣☀️
-The Chelsea Clinic and Team