Spina bifida is a type of birth defect called a neural tube defect. It results from the congenital failure of the spine to close properly during the first month of pregnancy, when the bones of the spine (vertebrae) don't form properly around part of the baby's spinal cord.
Spina bifida can be mild or severe.
• The mild form is the most common. It usually doesn't cause problems or need treatment. You can't see the defect, but some people may have a dimple, birthmark, or hairy patch on their back. Most people with this form don't know they have it until they get a back X-ray for another reason.
• Meningocele is a rare and more severe form. In this form, fluid leaks out of the spine and pushes against the skin. You may see a bulge in the skin. In many cases, there are no other symptoms.
• myelomeningocele is the most rare form where nerve roots, meninges and cerebrospinal fluids are exposed. This is what most people mean when they say "spina bifida." Part of the spinal nerves push out of the spinal canal, and the nerves are often damaged. You may see a bulge in the skin.
Most babies who are born with this type of spina bifida also have hydrocephalus, an accumulation of fluid in and around the brain.
Children with spina bifida often have problems with bowel and bladder control. They may also have sensory processing problems [which in turn affects balance and gait], Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or other learning difficulties, such as hand-eye coordination problem,Dyspraxia and or/visual perceptual impairment which may contribute to fine motor difficulties.
Medical Management for these children includes surgery for deformity repair or for shunt implantation and urologic management(bowel).
Orthotic and splint adaptation such as bracing, casting and assistive devices for ambulating are common.
Family education in skincare, bowel and bladder programs,and diet are often essential.
Having a child with Spina Bifida is not easy but it is not the end of the world. With proper care and a strong support system, everything will be fine.
Okay I just had to have this picture....
Image courtesy: en.wikipedia.org, daviddarling.info, imgkid.com, design-site.net, nlm.nih.gov,
body-disease.com, pixgood.com, nursing-help.com, joysunspeakable.com, drarunlnaik.com, www.healthofchildren.com, parents.com, spinabifida.net, myilluminateblog.com, egybase.com, vec.chop.edu, cdc.gov, amandakern.com, keanxchange.com