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
- 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:
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.
Sometimes CMT makes small movements like buttoning a shirt difficult. Occupational therapy can help your child work through everyday activities.
CMT causes instability in some children. Orthopedic devices like ankle braces offer support.
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.