Davis Foot Comfort Center

Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease

Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease

Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease


Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is a group of hereditary disorders that damage the nerves in your arms and legs (peripheral nerves). Charcot-Marie-Tooth is also known as hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy.

The main signs and symptoms of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease are muscle weakness and decreased muscle size. You may also notice decreased sensation in affected areas. Foot deformities such as hammertoes and high arches are common in Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. Symptoms usually begin in your feet and legs, but they may eventually affect your hands and arms.

What we notice most often are feet that are weak and laterally unstable (tend to fall to the outside).

$ Self-Help

  • Ready-made high tops, basketball or hiking boots can often add needed extra stability. Also, it’s important to look for shoes that have a wide heel base, that are not too soft and squishy on the bottom. Velcro straps can help when hands are compromised by the disease.

$$ Pedorthist or Shoe Repair

  • In the presence of marked weakness and lateral instability, flaring and/or lateral wedging are modifications that can be done to ready-made shoes to make them more stable laterally.

$$$ Pedorthist

  • For increased lateral stability, and to address hammer toes and bony prominences on the bottom of the feet, in-depth high top shoes with custom inserts would be indicated.

$$$$ Pedorthist, Custom Shoe Maker or Orthotist

  • When walking and balance are profoundly affected by the disease, bracing of the foot and ankle to the lower leg would be indicated (AFO). Braces can be made independently and worn in ready-made shoes or fabricated into boots with zippers for ease of entry and closure.

  • See braces and brace boots below: