Spina Bifida is part of a group of birth defects called neural tube defects. The neural tube is the embryonic structure that eventually develops into the baby’s brain, spinal cord and the tissues that enclose them. Spina Bifida occurs in various forms of severity and in babies with Spina Bifida, a portion of the neural tube fails to develop causing defects in the spinal cord and in the bones of the spine. Some of the common signs and symptoms of Spina Bifida include abnormal tuft of hair, collection of fat, birthmark, seizures, muscle weakness of the legs and many more.
HOW IS SPINA BIFIDA DIAGNOSED?
Prenatal blood tests and ultrasounds are conducted to diagnose Spina Bifida in the fetus. If the blood test shows high levels of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), the neurosurgeon may perform amniocentesis.
HOW IS SPINA BIFIDA TREATED?
There is no cure for spina bifida. The nerve tissue that is damaged cannot be repaired, nor can function be restored to the damaged nerves. Treatment depends on the type and severity of the disorder. Generally, children with the mildest form need no treatment, although some may require surgery as they grow. The key early priorities for treating myelomeningocele are to prevent infection from developing in the exposed nerves and tissue through the spinal defect, and to protect the exposed nerves and structures from additional trauma.
DID YOU KNOW?
Children with numbness might not realise cuts or injuries in the legs.