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For children with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT), specialized pediatric care is essential. Shriners Children's makes it easily accessible.

A group of disorders almost always inherited from one or both parents, CMT affects the nerves in the feet, legs, hands and arms – not the brain or spinal cord. CMT can result in muscle weakness and changes in sensation of the area affected.

Typically, symptoms of CMT begin in the teenage or early adult years and impact the lower body. If a Shriners Children's physician suspects your child might have CMT, they'll likely consult with a neurologist and a geneticist who will perform a complete nervous system exam and order blood tests before making a diagnosis.

While there is no cure for CMT, your physician will work to create a care plan as unique as your child to treat the symptoms he or she might be experiencing.

Specific treatments and services may vary by location. Please contact a specific location for more information.

Symptoms of CMT

Every child experiences CMT differently. We usually find symptoms first appear in the feet and legs. Over time, though, some people with CMT notice symptoms developing in their hands and arms. Find common CMT symptoms below:

  • Frequent tripping and falling
  • Abnormal walking patterns
  • Muscle weakness, especially in the lower legs
  • Foot deformities, including hammer toes and high arches
  • Difficulty raising the foot while walking
  • Loss of muscle around the hands and feet
  • Numbness, tingling, burning or loss of feeling in the hands and feet
  • Discomfort or pain in the hands and feet
  • Scoliosis
  • Hip Dysplasia

If you have questions about what your child is going through, talk to us. Before we make any plans for treatment, we'll monitor your child's symptoms closely –and we'll always keep you and your family in the know.

Learn About CMT Treatments

While there is no cure for CMT, your care team will create a treatment plan tailored to your child's unique needs. Read about common treatment options below:

Physical Therapy

To help prevent or delay any disability caused by muscle weakness, your child's physician might recommend working with a physical therapist. Our rehabilitation specialists will help your child strengthen and stretch their muscles through different, guided exercises.

Occupational Therapy

Sometimes CMT makes small movements like buttoning a shirt difficult. Occupational therapy can help your child work through everyday activities.

Orthopedic Devices

CMT causes instability in some children. Orthopedic devices like ankle braces offer support.

Surgery

If your child has severe foot, hip or spine deformities caused by CMT, surgery might be needed. An orthopedic surgeon will help you and your child understand which procedures offer the best results.

Innovative Treatments

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Bracing

Shriners Children's multidisciplinary team includes orthotists who create braces to meet the individual need of each child – whether to treat a complex condition or common injury.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists at Shriners Children's help kids be as independent as possible, focusing on what is important to them and what they love to do in their daily lives.

Orthopedic Surgery

With their expertise in treating children from toddlers to teens, the pediatric orthopedic surgeons at Shriners Children’s understand the challenges of planning ahead for growing bones and bodies.

Pediatric Rehabilitation

Shriners Children's specializes in supporting your child physically, developmentally and emotionally to reach his or her pediatric rehabilitation and therapy goals.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy at Shriners Children's helps children build confidence and strength, focusing on what is important to them and what they love to do in their daily lives.

Spine Surgery

At Shriners Children's, we explore all non-surgical options for your child's spine before considering surgery. If surgery is recommended, your child will be in the hands of our world renown orthopedic surgeons.

Next Steps

Request an Appointment

Families and caregivers seeking treatment should start by contacting us for an appointment.

Log in to the Patient Portal

Parents and guardians of existing patients can email, request records, schedule appointments and more.

Refer a Patient

Physicians and healthcare providers can request appointments, start transfers or contact us with questions.