How are the orthopedic complications of Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease treated?

Updated: May 22, 2018
  • Author: Timothy C Parsons, MD; Chief Editor: Nicholas Lorenzo, MD, MHA, CPE  more...
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Answer

Management of orthopedic complications is paramount.

  • The common foot deformities of CMT can lead to discomfort, impaired ambulation, and disability and should be managed with physical therapy, which can be both preventive and therapeutic. Stretching, exercises, and adaptive maneuvers can all be helpful.

  • Ankle weakness and instability can be treated with boots or orthoses, and can ease ambulation, keep patients active, and prevent potentially disabling injuries such as sprains or ankle fractures.

  • While dysesthetic pain is not typical, it can occur, and responds to medications commonly used for neuropathic pain such as tricyclic antidepressants or anticonvulsants.

  • More commonly, patients experience local musculoskeletal pain resulting from abnormal posture or overuse of certain muscle groups brought on by weakness or joint deformity. [92] Joint deformity itself may be painful. NSAIDs and acetaminophen are first-line therapies.


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