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What is Spina Bifida?

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What is Spina Bifida?


Ever hear of Spina Bifida? Well it all starts with newborn babies.

Spina Bifida is the most common permanently disabling birth defect in the United States. Spina Bifida itself literally means “split spine.” This disorder happens when a baby is in the womb and the spinal column does not close all of the way. Every day, about 8 babies born in the United States have Spina Bifida or a similar birth defect of the brain and spine.

Unfortunately, there is still no cause found for this disorder. Scientists believe that genetic and environmental factors act together to cause the condition.


How is Spina Bifida treated?

A child with Meningomyelocele usually is operated on within two to three days of birth. This prevents infections and helps save the spinal cord from more damage. A newborn with Meningocele usually has it treated with surgery, and more often than not, the child is not paralyzed. Most children with this condition grow up fine, but they should be checked by a doctor because they could have other serious problems, too. Most experts think that surgery is needed early to keep nerves and the brain from becoming more damaged as the child grows. Some forms do not even actually need to be treated.

Interested in learning more? Talk to your doctor or family pediatrician.

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