(WGEM) -- Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease or CMT, is a disorder that affects the sensory and motor nerves in the arms, hands, feet, and legs.
Muscle weakness, balance problems, and foot deformities are common in people who have CMT.
There is no cure, but one woman has found relief for her symptoms.
30-year-old Julie Stone works her muscles hard and she helps others do the same through her virtual fitness classes.
But a few years ago, Julie’s lower-limb muscles were weakening. She tripped and broke her foot twice. She had bad foot drops.
“Your foot kind of just flops as you’re walking and it just causes you to take really big, overexaggerated steps,” said Julie.
She was diagnosed with CMT, a hereditary neuromuscular disease. She went to doctor after doctor but couldn’t find a brace that fit to relieve her symptoms while continuing her active lifestyle.
Then Eric Weber from the Hanger Clinic suggested an AFO, or Ankle-Foot Orthosis.
"An AFO is trying to prevent a foot that is weak from dragging on the ground or tripping,” said Weber.
Since every CMT case is different, Weber custom-designed a brace for Julie.
“Where we were able to redirect some of the forces that are acting upon her when she’s walking and redirect those forces so that it keeps her balanced,” said Weber.
Now, with the custom braces Julie is able to take her pup Kiera for longer walks.
“Not have to stare 100% at the ground being like, ‘am I going to step on something?," Julie said.
And she’s able to stay active and climb to new heights.