Spina bifida is a congenital condition caused by a faulty spinal cord and spine development. The embryonic structure known as the neural tube eventually gives rise to the baby’s spinal cord, brain, and surrounding tissues. 

The neural tube begins to develop early in pregnancy and generally closes 28 days after conception. It is a condition in which a portion of the neural tube doesn’t close or grow normally, creating issues with the spine and spinal cord bones.

Depending on the kind of lesion, size, complications, and location, the severity of spina bifida can vary from mild to severe. Surgery is sometimes used as an early treatment, though it isn’t always successful in curing the condition.


  • Myelomeningocele
  • Spina bifida occulta
  • Meningocele


Signs and symptoms differ depending on the type, the severity, and the person. 


This kind could lead to issues with bowel and bladder function. 

Spina bifida occulta

Because the spinal nerves aren’t affected, there are typically no indications or symptoms. However, there are occasionally visible symptoms on the newborn’s skin above the spinal issue, such as a tuft of hair, a little indentation, or a birthmark. 


  • Normally, tissues and nerves are accessible, but the sac’s skin is occasionally covered.
  • Along a number of the lower or middle back vertebrae, the spinal canal is still open. 
  • Both the spinal cord and membranes emerge at birth, producing a sac.


Prenatal screening tests to look for spina bifida and other birth problems will be provided if you are pregnant. The exams aren’t perfect. Babies born to women with positive blood tests occasionally do not have spina bifida. There is a slight possibility that it is present even if the results are negative. Discuss the disadvantages of prenatal testing with your doctor, as well as how you might manage the results. 


Treatment for spina bifida is based on how severe the problem is. Other varieties require therapy, whereas spina bifida occulta frequently doesn’t.

  • Surgery before birth
  • Cesarean birth
  • Surgery after birth

There are a variety of treatment methods available, depending on the consequences and the degree: 

  • Walking and mobility aids
  • Bowel and bladder management
  • Treatment and control of additional complications 
  • Hydrocephalus surgery

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