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Doctor insights on: Spina Bifida

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Dr. Edward Smith
224 Doctors shared insights

Spina Bifida (Overview)

A birth defect involving incomplete development of the spinal cord or its coverings. The exact cause of the condition is unknown, but a risk factor appears to be low levels of folic acid in a woman's body before and during early pregnancy.


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Help please? How does spina bifida affects someones childhood?

Help please? How does spina bifida affects someones childhood?

Depends: Spina bifida occulta is a congenital skeletal and therefore musculoskeletal abnormality. It is more a predisposing factor, meaning some people will have problems due to it while others will not. One should remain active but try to find activities that do not aggravate or predispose to pain. ...Read more

Dr. Edward Smith
224 Doctors shared insights

Spina Bifida (Overview)

A birth defect involving incomplete development of the spinal cord or its coverings. The exact cause of the condition is unknown, but a risk factor appears to be low levels of folic acid in a woman's body before and during early pregnancy.


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So what are ultrasound findings and symptoms of spina bifida?

So what are ultrasound findings and symptoms of spina bifida?

Many: Spina bifida, where the spinal cord and/or overlying structures do not completely fuse, can often be detected on prenatal ultrasound. Sometimes you can directly see the defect, such as a hole in the skin overlying the spinal cord. Other findings include the "lemon" and "banana" sign, referring to abnormal head shape. Ask your doctor about your risk of spina bifida based on your ultrasound results. ...Read more

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What is spina bifida?

Spinal cord disorder: The spinal cord forms as an open tube that starts to close from the middle out to the two ends. The entire closure is done by about ten weeks. If the closure is not normal than a condition known as spina bifida occurs. Open spina bifida is when there is an opening in the spinal column to the skin. Closed spina bifida is when there is an opening in the spinal column but it has a thin cover. ...Read more

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My wife was just diagnosed with spina bifida occulata (age 23). They said it's mild. Her tailbone hurts. What's the treatment for something like this?

Usually nerve block: Condition occurs in 10% of population and is not serious, should be treated conservatively, usually nerve block injections. ...Read more

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What is diagnostic ultrasound like for babies with spina bifida?

What is diagnostic ultrasound like for babies with spina bifida?

Like others: The ultrasound is like others performed with more specialized views of the region of interest. ...Read more

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My blood test came back positive for spina bifida, does this means my baby will have this.?

My blood test came back positive for spina bifida, does this means my baby will have this.?

NO.: Increased msafp (maternal serum Alpha fetoprotein) is a marker of open fetal defects (spina bifida aperta, encephalocele, gastroschisis, omphalocele, amniotic band sequence, cleft lip/palate) and placental anomalies (accreta, chorioangiomas). The most common reason for a positive screen without prior ultrasound is wrong due date! Relax, talk to your genetic counselor and get a detailed ultrasound! ...Read more

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What are the tests for spina bifida?

What are the tests for spina bifida?

Spina bifida: Spina bifida is usually diagnosed by x-ray for MRI of the lower spine. In the new born it can also be done with an ultrasound. ...Read more

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If you have spina bifida occulta at age 16, could it get worse with age, or is it very stable?

If you have spina bifida occulta at age 16, could it get worse with age, or is it very stable?

Don't worry: This is a very common x-ray finding noted in about 22% of the population and is known as an incidental finding with no bearing on any stability issues and is asymptomatic meaning it does not cause pain. It also does not change over time. It can be associated with spondylolithesis and some transitional vertebra or base of spine anatomy variants that may alter spinal mechanics and cause pain. ...Read more

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What causes spina bifida? Is spina bifida caused by a spinal cord injury, or a chromosomal disorder?

What causes spina bifida? Is spina bifida caused by a spinal cord injury, or a chromosomal disorder?

Spina: Spina bifida is not an injury. It is a birth defect caused by failure of the nervous system to fully develop. When the embryo is forming, the nervous system starts out as a "neural tube" that is supposed to grow in a very specific way. If it does not, you are left with "neural tube defects" like spina bifida. There is nothing we know of that causes it for sure, but certain things make it more likely. It is more common with children that have trisomy 13, 18, or 21, but that is just an association, not a cause. They are very common, and the only thing we know of that might help prevent them is for the mother to take folate (folic acid). The hard part about that is the mother has to take folate (folic acid) very early in the pregnancy, often before she even knows she is pregnant. That is why the all women of child-bearing age are advised to take at least 0.4 mg of Folic Acid every day. ...Read more

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X-ray report - A spina bifida occulta is present at level S1 - what does that mean?

Bone abnormality: Spina Bifida Occulta is a failure of the poster elements of a vertebra to completely fuse. It is usually an incidental finding on x-ray. If however you are having bladder or bowel problems, consult your doctor. ...Read more

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Pain! How to treat, chiro? X-ray shows spina bifida occulta@l5, grade1 anterolisthesis of L5 w/spondylosis, mild disc space height loss@l4-5&l5-s1

Pain! How to treat, chiro? X-ray shows spina bifida occulta@l5, grade1 anterolisthesis of L5 w/spondylosis, mild disc space height loss@l4-5&l5-s1

Too little info: As dr. Hines says, a neurosurgeon can help differentiate all of the above and provide you with the best treatment options for your condtion. There are many factors to consider- your age, how much spondylosis, pain location, duration, relief, exacerbation, general health, etc. See a neurosurgeon for some good answers.
Best of luck to you. ...Read more

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Spina bifida --what surgery and other treatment?

Spina bifida --what surgery and other treatment?

Depends on type: This is not a simple answer as it depends on the type and severity. If the neural tube defect is large and protruding, it may require an open operation to repair the spinal sac and place all the nerve roots back into the sac. ...Read more

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Anyone know any new treatments of spina bifida?

Anyone know any new treatments of spina bifida?

Fetal surgery.: All interventions for open neural tube defects aim at preventing further neuronal loss and cannot restore damage already done. That is why fetal interventions can prove a major breakthrough in prenatally diagnosed cases: the fetal neuronal plasticity and ability to regenerate damaged tissues is such that a much better long-term outcome can be achieved. Http://women. Texaschildrens. Org/fetalcenter/. ...Read more

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Is it possible to prevent spina bifida while pregnant?

Is it possible to prevent spina bifida while pregnant?

Yes: Folate (folic acid) supplementation before conception and during the 1st trimester can reduce this birth defect as well as some of the developing heart. A multi-vitamin will suffice. ...Read more

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What is my risk of having another baby with spina bifida?

What is my risk of having another baby with spina bifida?

Complex question: This question is difficult to answer without additional information such as the type of spina bifida you baby has, the presence of any other abnormalities and a complete family history. Most cases of isolated spina bifida are sporadic and are not strictly inherited. For a more precise answer, you can seek a genetic evaluation (geneticist/genetic counselor). ...Read more

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Spina bifida, how do you avoid pressure sores?

Avoid pressure!: Seems like a simple answer, but offloading for at least 10 minutes every two hours is essential to avoid pressure sores in healthy individuals. Elderly, debilitated, or sickly patients can develop pressure sores even with great care, so use of special pads, cushions, or pressure-relief devices can help to reduce the potential for loss of circulation and tissue death from prolonged pressure. ...Read more

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What is spina bifida?

Spinal cord disorder: The spinal cord forms as an open tube that starts to close from the middle out to the two ends. The entire closure is done by about ten weeks. If the closure is not normal than a condition known as spina bifida occurs. Open spina bifida is when there is an opening in the spinal column to the skin. Closed spina bifida is when there is an opening in the spinal column but it has a thin cover. ...Read more

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What is spina bifida?

What is spina bifida?

Spina Bifida: Spina bifida is a birth defect where the spine does not close around the spinal cord during development. This may be as small as a small gap between the 2 sides, with no buldging out of membranes or nerves, & no associated handicaps, to a large defect with part of the cord exposed outside the body, leading to paralysis and other neurological problems. Folic acid decreases the risk. ...Read more

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Is spina bifida hereditary?

Studies show that: The incidence of neural tube defects (NTD's) like open Spina Bifida would decrease by 70% if all women took 0.4mg of Folic Acid daily from menarche to menopause. However, this dose does not prevent NTD's in offspring of women with variations in several genes involved in folate (folic acid) & homocysteine metabolism. There are also inheritable genetic causes of NTD's that are not related to folate (folic acid) metabolism. ...Read more

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Who discovered spina bifida?

Although depictions: Of people with Spina Bifida go back 12, 000 years, Amsterdam's Dr. Nicholas Tulp named the disorder between 1618-1652. Dr. Giovanni Battista Morgagni an Italian, linked lower-limb deformity & hydrocephalus to Spina Bifida in 1761. Studies show that the incidence of NTD's could decrease by as much as 70% if all women were to take a daily Folic Acid supplement from menarche to menopause. ...Read more

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Do you deal with spina bifida?

Yes: Yes, but rarely. This condition is not common and as a family physician, I see only what comes my way. Spina bifida is usually approached in a team concept, usualy dealing with a primary care doctor (pediatrician, family physician or internest) along with physical therapist, neurologists, neuro-surgeons, physiatrist (physical medicine specialists) and a host of others. There are many issues. ...Read more

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What are the signs of spina bifida?

Spina Bifida: Depends on the type;
1. Spina bifida occulta shows small gap in 1 or more of spinal bones, seen in newborn as a small dimple or birth mark or tuft of hair or fat collection.
2. Meningocele shows as bulging of meninges (sheath around spinal cord) through the opening in back.
3. Myelomeningocele is wider protrusion through several vertebrae, forming a large sac. This is most severe. ...Read more

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What are the tests for spina bifida?

Spina bifida: Spina bifida is usually diagnosed by x-ray for MRI of the lower spine. In the new born it can also be done with an ultrasound. ...Read more

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Can you tell me what spina bifida means?

Split spine.: Spina bifida is a generic term used to describe congenital malformations of the spine (typically lower spine). It can be mild to very severe and be associated with a variety of conditions. ...Read more

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What can you tell me about spina bifida?

Spina bifida: Spina bifida is a very generic term that covers a lot of disorders of the spine that occur at birth. These can range from defects in the spinal bone to loss of the muscle and skin covering leading to herniation of the spinal cord and roots. There are a wide variety of causes known. ...Read more

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Later side afects of occult spina bifida?

Later side afects of occult spina bifida?

No: Spina bifida occulta results from failure of the two lamina of one vertebra to make a solid bony fusion. The defect is generally bisecting the spinous process vertically. No instability is present. No neurologic dysfunction is present because neural elements are not affected. But associated neurological problems which may be symptomatic are more common in association with spina bifida occulta. ...Read more

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How many forms of spina bifida are there?

How many forms of spina bifida are there?

Many: Embryonic development involves progressive closure of the neuro cord which becomes the spine. This closure may be slightly incomplete (occult) or remain a cyst (meningomyelocele) or remain completely open. In some the pelvis and anus do not develop properly. Nerves to bladder, bowel, and legs may only partially develop. The brain may not develop properly, and hydrocephalus may develop. ...Read more