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Spina Bifida Tips

Know The Signs That Indicate Spinal Bifida!

Dr. Shailesh Jain 85% (13 ratings)
MBBS, MCh, MS
Neurosurgeon, Delhi
Know The Signs That Indicate Spinal Bifida!

The medical term ‘spina bifida’ or spinal bifida refers to a congenital defect in the spine. In simpler terms, spinal bifida is a defect in the neural tube. Based on the severity of this disease, spinal bifida can be divided into three different types:
• Myelomeningocele
• Meningocele
• Occulta

The symptoms of spinal bifida vary depending on each of these three types. Let's take a closer look at its symptoms here:

Myelomeningocele

Myelomeningocele is the most severe form of spinal bifida. In this type of neural defect, the spinal canal of the baby remains open in the middle or lower back along a few vertebrae. Due to this opening, a sac is formed at the back of the baby at birth, which exposes the baby to several life-threatening infections.

Some of the common symptoms of this type of spinal bifida are:

  1. Seizures
  2. Presence of uneven hips
  3. Deformed feet
  4. Curved spine or scoliosis
  5. Bladder and bowel problems
  6. Muscle weakness
  7. Paralyzed leg muscles.

Physical deformities from moderate to severe levels are also very common in this type of spinal bifida.

Meningocele

Meningocele is a ratherrare form of spinal bifida in which a sack of fluid stays in open at the back of the baby. Here the protective membranes that usually stay around the spinal cord push out through the vertebrae’s opening. Though this sack contains no part of the spinal cord, it may cause minor disabilities.

Some common symptoms of this kind of spinal bifida are:
o Membranes forming a visible sack on the back at birth
o Presence of a small opening in the baby's back
The good news is that this sack can be removed through surgery without hampering the normal development of the spinal cord.

Occulta
Spina bifida occulta is the mildest form of spina bifida, which, in majority of the cases, often stays hidden as its symptoms are rarely visible. As it doesn’t even cause any form of disabilities, it generally goes unnoticed. It doesn’t cause any damages to the nerves or the spinal cord.
Some common symptoms of occulta are:

  1. Presence of a gap between the vertebrae
  2. An area on the back formed with extra fat
  3. Acluster or small group of hair on the back
  4. A dimple or birthmark on the back.

In this kind of spinal bifida, neither any sack of fluid is formed, nor are there any visible opening in the back. Sometimes, people who have spinal bifida are not aware of it due to its minimal symptoms.
Spinal bifida usually affects a child before birth, when the brain or the cord or the protective covering over them fails to develop completely. Knowing about the symptoms can be one of the best ways to identify and diagnose this disease and opt for proper treatment solutions.

 

2625 people found this helpful

Spinal Bifida - Know The Signs That Indicate It!

MCh - Neurosurgery, MS-General Surgery, MBBS
Neurosurgeon, Delhi
Spinal Bifida - Know The Signs That Indicate It!

The medical term ‘spina bifida’ or spinal bifida refers to a congenital defect in the spine. In simpler terms, spina bifida is a defect in the neural tube. Based on the severity of this disease, spina bifida can be divided into three different types:

  • Myelomeningocele
  • Meningocele
  • Occulta

The symptoms of spina bifida vary depending on each of these three types. Let's take a closer look at its symptoms here:

Myelomeningocele

Myelomeningocele is the most severe form of spina bifida. In this type of neural defect, spinal canal of the baby remains open in the middle or lower back along a few vertebrae. Due to this opening, a sac is formed at the back of the baby at birth, which exposes the baby to several life-threatening infections.

Some of the common symptoms of this type of spina bifida are:

  1. Seizures
  2. Presence of uneven hips
  3. Deformed feet
  4. Curved spine or scoliosis
  5. Bladder and bowel problems
  6. Muscle weakness
  7. Paralyzed leg muscles.

Physical deformities from moderate to severe levels are also very common in this type of spina bifida.

Meningocele

Meningocele is a ratherrare form of spinal bifida in which a sack of fluid stays in open at the back of the baby. Here the protective membranes that usually stay around the spinal cord push out through the vertebrae’s opening. Though this sack contains no part of the spinal cord, it may cause minor disabilities.

Some common symptoms of this kind of spina bifida are:

  1. Membranes forming a visible sack on the back at birth
  2. Presence of a small opening in the baby's back

The good news is that this sack can be removed through surgery without hampering the normal development of the spinal cord.

Occulta
Spina bifida occulta is the mildest form of spina bifida, which, in majority of the cases, often stays hidden as its symptoms are rarely visible. As it doesn’t even cause any form of disabilities, it generally goes unnoticed. It doesn’t cause any damages to the nerves or the spinal cord.

Some common symptoms of occulta are:

  1. Presence of a gap between the vertebrae
  2. An area on the back formed with extra fat
  3. Acluster or small group of hair on the back
  4. A dimple or birthmark on the back.

In this kind of spina bifida, neither any sack of fluid is formed, nor are there any visible opening in the back. Sometimes, people who have spina bifida are not aware of it due to its minimal symptoms.
Spina bifida usually affects a child before birth, when the brain or the cord or the protective covering over them fails to develop completely. Knowing about the symptoms can be one of the best ways to identify and diagnose this disease and opt for proper treatment solutions. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Neurosurgeon.

2556 people found this helpful

What You Need to Know About Clubfoot?

Dr. Ramakanth Reddy 94% (153 ratings)
MBBS, Diploma In Child Health
Pediatrician, Hyderabad
What You Need to Know About Clubfoot?

What You Need to Know About Clubfoot?

clubfoot is a common condition where an infant is born with a foot that turns in

  • Clubfoot most often presents at birth.

  • Clubfoot is caused by a shortened Achilles tendon, which causes the foot to turn in and under.

  • Clubfoot is twice as common in boys.

  • Treatment is necessary to correct clubfoot and is usually done in two phases — casting and bracing.

  • Children with clubfoot should be able to take part in regular daily activities once the condition is treated.

What is clubfoot?

Clubfoot is a foot deformity classified into three different types: idiopathic (unknown cause), neurogenic (caused by condition of the nervous system) and syndromic (related to an underlying syndrome).

Idiopathic Clubfoot

Also known as talipes equinovarus, idiopathic clubfoot is the most common type of clubfoot and is present at birth. This congenital anomaly is seen in one out of every 1,000 babies, with half of the cases of club foot involving only one foot. There is currently no known cause of idiopathic clubfoot, but baby boys are twice as likely to have clubfoot compared to baby girls.

Neurogenic Clubfoot

Neurogenic clubfoot is caused by an underlying neurologic condition. For instance, a child born with spina bifida A clubfoot may also develop later in childhood due to cerebral palsy or a spinal cord compression.

Syndromic Clubfoot

Syndromic clubfoot is found along with a number of other clinical conditions, which relate to an underlying syndrome. Examples of syndromes where a clubfoot can occur include arthrogryposis, constriction band syndrome, tibial hemimelia and diastrophic dwarfism.

What are the signs and symptoms of clubfoot?

In a clubfoot, the Achilles tendon is too short, causing the foot to stay pointed — also known as “fixing the foot in equinus.” The foot is also turned in and under. The bones of the foot and ankle are all present but are misaligned due to differences in the muscles and tendons acting on the foot.

What are the risk factors of clubfoot?

  • Having a parent or sibling with clubfoot

  • Maternal smoking during pregnancy

  • Male

Clubfoot Diagnosis

Foot imbalance due to clubfoot may be noticed during a fetal screening ultrasound as early as 12 weeks gestation, but the diagnosis of clubfoot is confirmed by physical exam at birth.

Clubfoot Treatment

The treatment for clubfoot consists of two phases: Ponseti serial casting and bracing. Treatment is always necessary, because the condition does not get better with growth.

Ponseti Serial Casting

A supramalleolar orthosis with bar is used for bracing after an infant has completed casting treatment for clubfoot

The Ponseti technique of serial casting is a treatment method that involves careful stretching and manipulation of the foot and holding with a cast. The first cast is applied one to two weeks after the baby is born. The cast is then changed in the office every seven to 10 days. With the fourth or fifth cast, a small in-office procedure is also needed to lengthen the Achilles tendon. This is done using a local numbing medicine and small blade. Afterward, the baby is placed into one last cast, which remains on for two to three weeks.

Bracing for Clubfoot

While the casting corrects the foot deformity, bracing maintains the correction. Without bracing, the clubfoot would redevelop. The day the last cast is removed, the baby is fit in a supramalleolar orthosis with a bar. These braces are worn 23 hours a day for two months, then 12 hours a day (naps plus nighttime) until kindergarten age.

Life after Treatment of Clubfoot

A well-corrected clubfoot looks no different than a normal foot. Sports, dance and normal daytime footwear are the expectations for a child born with a clubfoot. This condition will not hold a child back from normal activities. 

2 people found this helpful

Health During Pregnancy - 5 Ways To Monitor And Care For It!

Dr. Nimmi Rastogi 90% (35 ratings)
DGO, MBBS, Advanced Infertility
Gynaecologist, Delhi
Health During Pregnancy - 5 Ways To Monitor And Care For It!

Pregnancy brings with it a new set of additional responsibilities. The mother has to be extra vigilant about monitoring and caring for her health. This ensures that sufficient nutrition is being provided to the growing infant, at the same time, ensuring no harm comes through you. Listed below are some simple ways to do the same.

  1. Prenatal care: As soon as you realize that you are pregnant, it is advisable to consult to a doctor or a midwife about proper prenatal care. This could include anything and everything from prenatal vitamins to food habits to exercise to sleeping habits to periodic scanning – the whole hog.
  2. Diet: You need to ensure two things: that you are eating enough for two people, and also that everything is healthy and not harmful for the little one that gets all its nutrition through you. The diet should be healthy, nutritious, wholesome, and of course free of junk. Some pointers to a healthy diet include:
    • Include a good amount of fruits and vegetables every day; break it into five small portions.
    • Sufficient amount of carbohydrates should be the basis of each meal.
    • Whole grains are preferred to white grains, which also give good amount of fiber.
    • A good amount of proteins including fish, eggs, meat, nuts, pulses, milk, and other dairy products.
    • Ensure adequate amount of iron, calcium, and other minerals are included in the diet.
    • Avoid eating non-pasteurized dairy products, uncooked or undercooked food, and smoked seafood.
    • Folic acid is compulsory for the first trimester as it helps to protect your unborn baby from developing neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Also, it helps to prevent other birth defects, such as a cleft palate . 
  3. Weight gain: If your weight was normal for your age and height before pregnancy, expect to add about 12 to 15 kg during your pregnancy. Consult with your doctor on weight changes and nutritional aspects to monitor weight throughout pregnancy. This could change based on if it is twins, your weight before pregnancy, and body type.
  4. Exercise: There are specific exercises designed to benefit the pregnant women. Whether it is walking or swimming aimed at improving overall health or Kegel exercises aimed at improving vaginal and perineal muscles, your doctor should be able to draw up a routine. Exercising while pregnancy is being increasingly encouraged for the following reasons:
    • Improved energy levels
    • Controls back pain
    • Improved sleep pattern
    • Improves constipation
    • Improves muscles strength and endurance
  5. Lifestyle changes: With pregnancy setting in, it is time to bid goodbye to smoking and drinking alcohol. Continued smoking after onset of pregnancy has many serious complications, including growth retardation, low birth weight. Alcohol can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, and premature delivery.

These are simple ways to monitor and care for your and of course, the baby’s health throughout pregnancy.

2685 people found this helpful

Should All Women be Taking Folic Acid?

Dr. Prof.(Dr.)Saransh Jain 86% (68 ratings)
D.Sc (Urology), PhD (Pscho Sexual Medicine)U.K., M.D.(Medicine)GOLD MEDALIST, M.B.B.S.
Sexologist, Lucknow
Should All Women be Taking Folic Acid?

Folic acid is an important form of vitamin B, which women must take during pregnancy. It is a form of man-made vitamin B known as folate. Folate plays a significant role in producing red blood cells and helps in the development of your baby’s neural tube into the brain and spinal cord, preventing any kind of birth defects in your baby. Birth defects of the brain or spinal cord may occur in early stages of pregnancy.
Therefore, by the time a woman discovers her pregnancy, it may become too late to prevent the defects.

How much folic acid should be taken?
A woman should start taking folic acid within the first three to four weeks of pregnancy, as birth defects may occur during this time. Women who start taking folic acid a year before getting pregnant produce healthy babies without birth defects.

400 mcg of folic acid is the recommended dose for all women who are of childbearing age and also in the first trimester of pregnancy. Multivitamins with the recommended amount of folate and folic acid supplements are generally prescribed as they help the mother deliver a healthy child. From the fourth to ninth month of pregnancy, the dose must be increased to 600 mcg.

Benefits of folic acid
Without sufficient folic acid in your body, the neural tube of your developing baby may not close properly. This may lead to neural tube defects, which include:

1. Spina bifida, a condition where the spinal cord or vertebrae develop incompletely. A baby with spina bifida may be disabled permanently.
2. Anencephaly, a condition that features incomplete development of the brain. Babies affected with anencephaly do not live long.

Having a sufficient supply of folic acid prevents these neural defects from developing in your baby.
Taking folic acid before and during pregnancy protects your baby against many other conditions. They include:
1. Cleft lip and palate
2. Low weight during birth
3. Chances of miscarriage
4. Premature birth

Folic acid also reduces the risk of developing pregnancy complications in the mother such as heart diseases, stroke, several cancers and Alzheimer’s disease. Folic acid is naturally found in dark-green vegetables, which you must consume in abundance. Other sources of folic acid include fortified breakfast cereals, beef liver, lentils, egg noodles and great northern beans. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a gynaecologist.

5095 people found this helpful
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