SPINA BIFIDA (Myelomeningocele)


Spina bifida is a congenital malformation in which there is something wrong with the bone in the vertebral column, exposing the spinal cord which should be protected within the vertebral column.It is caused by the incomplete closing of the embryonic neural tube. Congenital malformation means a birth defect.


  • People with spina bifida occulta are almost always completely asymptomatic.
  • The most common bladder and bowel problems are inability to voluntarily relax the muscles (sphincters) that hold urine in the bladder and stool in the rectum.
  • Spine, hip, foot, and leg deformities are often due to imbalances in muscle strength and function resulting mostly from residual paralysis, but with a spasticity component

This is how the child gets (SPINA BIFIDA)

  • Spina Bifida is a birth defect that can happen to anyone. There is no known cause of Spina Bifida, but research has shown that if a woman takes 400 mcg of folic acid every day, before she becomes pregnant, she reduces her risk of having a baby with Spina Bifida or another neural tube defect by as much as 70%. The exact cause of the remaining cases is unknown, but it is believed that genetics and environment may play a role.

Each of the 65 million women of childbearing age in the U.S. is at risk for having a pregnancy affected by a birth defect like Spina Bifida.

Folic acid can help reduce that risk by up to 70% – but it needs to be taken prior to conception because the brain and spine of the fetus develop within the first 28 days of pregnancy, often before a woman knows she is pregnant.

The Treatment

  • A randomized clinical trial, known as the MOMs Trial, proved that fetal surgical repair of MMC leads to decreased rates of hydrocephalus and improved leg function compared to standard after birth repair of this problem. However, the study also showed that there were complications seen in some fetuses that had fetal surgical repair, such as early birth, and rarely, even death. On average, the group treated before birth seemed to do better, but these were selected patients

Life Expectancy

  • This leakage allows the back of the brain to fall, or herniate, down the spinal column leading to compression of this area of brain and blockage of the circulation of fluid. Various studies suggest that there is ongoing damage to the spinal cord and nerves in fetuses with MMC due to the amniotic and uterine environment. For this reason, before-birth repair of MMC was originally proposed.

3 Importaint facts

  • Myelomeningocele, the fourth form, is the most severe and occurs when the spinal cord/neural elements are exposed through the opening in the spine, resulting in partial or complete paralysis of the parts of the body below the spinal opening. The impairment may be so severe that the affected individual is unable to walk and may have bladder and bowel dysfunction.
  • . Generally,The There is no cure for spina bifida. The nerve tissue that is damaged cannot be repaired, nor can function be restored to the damaged nerves. Treatment depends on the type and severity of the disorder children with the mildest form need no treatment, although some may require surgery as they grow.
  • symptoms of spina bifida vary from person to person, depending on the type and level of involvement. Closed neural tube defects are often recognized early in life due to an abnormal tuft or clump of hair or a small dimple or birthmark on the skin at the site of the spinal malformation.
Big image
Big image
Big image

These are pictures of Spina Bifida