SPINA BIFIDA - Overview, Facts, Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis


Spina bifida is one of the congenital disorders that comes from the improper development of the spine and spinal cord. A specific type of abnormality in the neural tube, which will become the baby’s spinal cord, brain, and other surrounding tissues, is known as a neural tube defect.

The development of neural tubes is early and closes even by the 28th day following conception. However, a section of a neural tube does not close or grow properly for babies having spina bifida, resulting in abnormalities in the spinal cord and spine bones.


Spina cord has two primary types, including:

  • Spina bifida occulta
  • Myelomeningocele


The symptoms of spina cord differ, depending on the kind and severity of the condition. The most common symptoms are the following:

  • Leg weakness or paralysis
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Skin numbness
  • Accumulation of CSF or verebrospinal fluid


In diagnosing spina bifida, your doctor may do a physical exam, and ask you about your symptoms and medical history. Also, prenatal screening tests will be provided to you if you are pregnant. Other tests used to confirm the diagnosis include:


Treatment for spina bifida is determined by the severity of a problem. Even if Bifida occulta is not common, it still needs treatment.

Surgery before birth

If spina bifida is not treated, nerve function in newborns might deteriorate after birth. As a result, the surgery for spina bifida is done well before the 26th week of pregnancy. This operation can also be done less invasively with such a fetoscope using ports in the uterus in some patients.

Studies indicate that children having spina bifida who have undergone fetal surgery have a minor impairment and are less likely to use crutches or even other walking aids. So, consult your doctor to see if this surgery is right for you.

Cesarean birth

Many newborns with myelomeningocele are born with their feet first (breech). Cesarean birth could be a safer approach to deliver your baby if the baby is in the same position or when your doctor has discovered a giant cyst or sac.

Surgery after birth

Myelomeningocele is a condition that necessitates surgery. The operation should be performed immediately to minimize the chance of infection from the exposed nerves. Additionally, it may assist in preventing future spinal cord damage.

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