Which specialist consultations are beneficial to patients with Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease?

Updated: Feb 19, 2019
  • Author: Francisco de Assis Aquino Gondim, MD, PhD, MSc, FAAN; Chief Editor: Nicholas Lorenzo, MD, MHA, CPE  more...
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Answer

Referrals to physical therapists and prosthetics/orthotics specialists are often required to prevent and treat joint deformities. Orthotics and ankle-foot orthoses (AFO) frequently enable patients to continue performing activities they enjoy while preventing falls that might result in broken ankles and other injuries that can severely limit future independence for the patients. In addition, orthotics and AFO can prevent Achilles tendon shortening and extend near-normal ambulation. At times, boots can delay the need for such ankle braces. Multiple types of AFOs of different weight and sturdiness exist. With moderate foot drop, a lighter AFO may be more appropriate than with severe foot drop. Thick-handle tools and cutlery can render certain activities of daily living easier.

Dealing with a life of initially mild, but typically worsening, disability can increase the risk of depression and lead to maladjustment. This should be borne in mind and addressed in patients of all ages, including in teenagers.


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