Charcot Marie Tooth

Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease, or CMT, is a group of inherited disorders that affect the peripheral nerves, which are the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord. 

According to CMT USA, some types of CMT cause damage to the covering (myelin sheaths) that surrounds nerve fibers. Other kinds of CMT directly damage the nerves fibers themselves. In both cases, the damaged nerve fibers result in neuropathy. The nerves in the legs and arms, which are the longest, are affected first. Nerve fibers that create movement (called motor fibers) and nerve fibers that transmit sensations (called sensory fibers) are both affected. CMT causes weakness and numbness, usually starting in the feet.

In the most common kinds of CMT, symptoms usually begin before the age of 20 years. They may include:

  • Foot deformity (very high arched feet, hammertoes)
  • Foot drop (inability to hold foot horizontal)
  • “Slapping” gait (feet slap on the floor when walking because of foot drop)
  • Loss of muscle in the lower legs, leading to skinny calves
  • Numbness in the feet
  • Difficulty with balance

SOLUTIONS

What will my insurance cover?

AFO/braces are almost always covered and often times commercial insurance plans will have an orthotic benefit as well.  Unfortunately, most insurance companies will NOT cover specialty shoes.

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