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The condition of Spina Bifida is a birth defect that results in the body failing to develop properly around the spine and spinal cord. The damage to the individual can vary from extremely severe to more mild cases, each demanding specific treatment and care. Our spine medicine medical team has extensive knowledge and experience in the treatment of all types of spina bifida cases and often has found treatment that assisted the patient in increasing their general health and wellbeing and increasing their quality of life.
Types of Spina Bifida
Spina Bifida Occulta: This condition is a small gap between the bones of the spine that is often not even noticed by the individual who has it. It may be covered by a tuft of hair or fat deposit, and usually does not create a problem for the individual.
Meningocele: This is a rare form of Spina Bifida in which the protective sheathing around the nerve bundle (called meninges) pushes out through the gap in the spine. This condition is usually treated with surgery with excellent results and no damage or further ill effect to the patient.
Myelomeningocele: This is the form that is most commonly referred to as “spina bifida” and is a very serious condition in which the development of the vertebrae and spinal cord are compromised during gestation, resulting in a gap or open space in the back of the child, often with a bulging sac, which may be covered with skin. This is a very dangerous condition as the child is prone to serious infections due to the exposure of the nerves, and treatment must be initiated at once. As the spine and nerves have not developed normally, the individual suffering the condition may be paralyzed and unable to use their lower body.
Testing can be done on pregnant mothers to determine whether a condition of Spina Bifida is present in the child; however, testing cannot ever be 100% conclusive, and a case could exist that was not identified, although this would be rare. Treatment of the condition has a variety of methods that can be used to help the individual in having a good quality of life. Any newer or recently available treatments can be investigated by contacting our medical team at Chapman Neurosurgical Spine Institute.
Contact Chapman Neurosurgical Spine Institute if you are seeking information about treatments for this condition.