Objective: Charcot-Marie-Tooth neuropathy affects mainly and early the lower limbs, but hands deformities are a relevant problem, which involves the quality of life of the patients. Unfortunately, there are few studies about the evaluation of the upper limbs and very rare works about the rehabilitation. A treatment study at the moment is missing and it is important to search rehabilitation exercises to improve the dexterity and the quality of life of the patients.
Methods: We recruited 9 patients with clinical and genetic diagnosis of CMT and we proposed a rehabilitation protocol which includes muscle recruitment, stretching and proprioceptive exercises for the hand with the duration of 4 weeks (two sessions for week). We evaluated the patients before and one week after the treatment with Thumb Opposition Test, Sollerman Hand Function Scale, dynamometry (tripod pinch and hand grip).
Results: The rehabilitation protocol has been well tolerated and there were not dropouts. We did not observe any worsening in every scale we used. Every parameter tested showed an improvement especially in the right/dominant hand.
Conclusion: This study demonstrates that this three phases treatment is well tolerated by patients, it is not detrimental for the hands status and perfectly reproducible by professionals. Moreover, this could be the basis for future randomized single blind projects.