Charcot-Marie -Tooth Disease (CMT)

What is Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease?


CMT, also known as Peroneal Muscular Atrophy, Progressive Neuropathic Peroneal Muscular Atrophy, Hereditary Motor and Sensory Neuropathy, and Hereditary Peroneal Nerve Dysfunction is a group of inherited disorders that affect the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord (peripheral nerves).


The diagnosis is made by a physician who may use a nerve biopsy or nerve conduction test to confirm the findings. Genetic testing may also be completed.


CMT is a progressive disease and therefore the weakness can continue to progress. It may lead to the inability to walk unassisted and the lack of sensation predisposes the person to injuries.

Supportive holding hands
Signs and Symptoms

Everyone is different

The signs and symptoms vary from patient to patient and may show in childhood to adulthood and usually start in the feet.

  • Weakness of the legs and hands
  • High arched feet
  • Clawed hands
  • Thin calves due to muscle atrophy
  • Numbness in the feet and/or legs
  • High steppage gait and/or “foot slapping” gait
  • Foot drop – difficulty lifting the foot
  • Loss of muscle control
  • Loss of stretch reflexes
Charcot-Marie -Tooth Disease (CMT)

Treatment Options

There are no treatments for the disease but there are treatments for the signs and symptoms. Braces or splints (orthoses) are often used to help with walking. As foot drop is a common result of CMT, ankle foot orthoses (AFO) or foot drop splints are frequently used by people who have CMT. The AFO controls the ankle and prevents the foot from dropping, reducing the chance of catching the toes, tripping or turning the ankles.

Here are some common types of AFOs for treating foot drop associated with CMT:

Flexible Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO) 

Silicone Ankle Foot Orthoses (SAFO) 

Start your journey of finding your personal best