Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disorder

Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) Disorder is a group of inherited diseases which affect the nerves to the arms and legs. The problems can range from very mild to severe weakness. The feet and legs tend to be affected first. High foot arches and curled toes are often the first signs of this disorder. Because the muscles are not getting the right signals from the brain, walking may become difficult. There may be numbness as well. Fingers and hands may also be involved. Over time, the feet and hands may be deformed.


There is no cure or specific treatment for CMT. Care may include custom-made shoes and leg braces to reduce discomfort and increase function. Physical therapy and moderate activity are often used to maintain muscle strength. For some patients, surgery may help correct deformities. Pain medicines may be needed.


CMT is not a fatal disease and most forms of the disorder do not affect normal life expectancy. Most individuals with CMT are able to work. Wheelchair confinement is rare.