4:57 am - Wednesday January 24, 2018

Basic information that one wants to know about spina bifida

This is a birth defect known as neural tube defect. In this birth defect the spinal cord of the child is not developed properly at the time of birth.  there can be mild as well severe spina biflda.

In most cases of this disease only the mild version exists which does not need any treatment. Baby’s with this birth defect show only a dimple as a birthmark on their back. Most people are not aware of this defect, until the X-ray film is shown to them.

In another form known as meningocele, fluid leaks through the bulge seen on the backside of the baby.  There are no other symptoms than the bulge.

In its severest form known as myelomenigocele, in which a part of the spinal nerve juts out of the spinal canal and they are in a damaged condition also. A bulge in the skin is seen. In some cases the skin remains open and the nerves are seen exposed.

Cause of its formation

The exact cause for the formation of spina bifidia is not known. Doctors think that the genes and the environment have something to say in the formation of this birth defect. Women who have one child with this birth defect are more likely to have the same defect for her other babies also. Obese and diabetes women also are at great risk of  giving birth to their babies with this birth defect.


Symptoms depend on the severity of the birth defect. Most children with mild spina bifida do not have any problems pertaining to it. Children with severe spina bifida show the following symptoms.

  • No or little feeling to legs and feet and inability in moving them.
  • Bladder problems like leakage of urine. Patient may also find it difficult to pass stool.
  • Fluid buildup called as hydrocephalus in brain which may cause seizures or vision problems.
  • Curves in their spinals known as scoliosis.


During pregnancy doctors conduct necessary blood test and ultrasound test to find the signs of birth defects. If these tests show any hint of birth defects, then a test known as amniocentesis is conducted. This test helps in confirming the existence of spina bifida. After the birth, doctor will be able to identify babies with this disease by looking at the back of the child. If anything is suspected he may ask for X-ray, or MRI/ST scan to confirm the severity of the disease.

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