- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
CMT Foot Drop and Ankle Supports: Braces, AFOs, and Splints
Charcott Marie Tooth Syndrome, known as CMT is a disease that affects people all around the world. It is a hereditory disease that prevents the nervous system in the legs from functioning properly. There are different stages of CMT, but the most common is the loss of muscle and balance in lower legs. Arches are formed in the feet and the disease progresses throughout a lifespan. At the moment there are no operations or treatments that can solve the disability or deformaty. It can make it very hard for someone suffering with CMT to be able to participate in sporting activities as the disease can have a big restriction on what you can and can not do in your life. The mental strain of CMT and the knowing of the progressing of the disease can be some of the hardest things for somone with CMT to get to terms with. Tiredness is common in people suffering with CMT because the mind is always very active whilst on your feet. People who suffer with CMT tend to find themselves tripping more often than the usual person would - Foot drop and ankle supports can help.
AFO's are the most common known supports available for CMT patients. They lock the foot in a upright position with little flexibility. Therefore this much walking a much more pleasent experience for a CMT sufferer. The ones in the picture are Carbo-Lite, which makes them more comfortable than the ordinary AFO. They also have parts of the plastic in the back removed which eliviates rubbing and pain that was caused by the original versions that were used a few years ago.
CMT patients often experience very strong cramps in the lower leg and feet whilst sleeping or relaxing. This is a painful experience that can make going to sleep a dreadful experience. This is where night splints can be more than helpful. The Afo Plantar Night Splint is a wrap that fits around the foot and ankle. It keeps the foot in an upright position which allows for the blood to flow easier and eleviates any issues with cramp.
Futuro Plantar Fascities Sleep Support is also very popular amongst Charcot Marie Tooth Suffers. It does the same job as Afo Plantar night splint by keeping your feet in an upright position and therefore hugely decreasing and removing any chances of lower leg cramps during the night. This can be a great investment for someone who suffers these unfortunaties, as it can make sleeping a peaceful and relaxing experience once again. This is also has a positive effect with regards to daily tiredness with CMT.
Lace-up Ankle Supports
Core Lace up ankle supports are designed to provide extra support for the ankle. They will keep your foot in a more rigid position and provide extra padding around the ankle. Tripping can be both embaressing and painful with CMT; sometimes resulting in huge swelling around the ankle and higher foot areas. The Lace Up Ankle Support will help this problem - providing more stability for the ankle.
Mueller ankle support does pretty much the same as the lace up ankle supports mentioned above - but without the laces. There is a little more flexibility because it is more elasticated than the lace up options. The should restrict the chances of damaging ligaments in the lower leg and higher foot areas. Also provides extra support for a sore ankle.
The ASO Ankle Stabilzing Support has elastic cuff closure, which in return decreases amount of inversion possible. It has Ballistic nylon straps: "figure 8" straps, which replicate ankle taping. Another advtange of the ASO it that it offers greater padding that other Ankle Supports do. These are quite easy to put on and comfortable. These do not restrict the foot too much, so you are still able to move in both directions, which can sometimes be a problem with some of the other supports.
OTC Ankle Stabilizer
The OTC Ankle Stabilizer has a fairly rigid heel area which keeps the foot locked in the up right position. This can make walking and movement in general much easier, whilst providing a lot of support. The correct footwear is essential for these, and probably best results are found used with boots.
One of the most common findings in people with CMT is cold feet. This can lead to more pain being felt in the feet, and can be very uncomfortable. This is caused due to bad blood circulation in this area. Foot warmers can ensure warmer feet and better blood circulation. Good for sleeping, travelling and for cold days out.
The Thermos Foot Stabilizer allows the user to keep an upright position of the foot. Plastic plate fits along the top of the shoe. A clip is then attached to plate which keeps the foot locked in upright position. You are able to adjust the strap, which allows you to set your foot at whichever angle you would like. Can be hidden well under trousers.