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Doctor insights on: Spina Bifida

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Dr. Edward Smith
218 doctors shared insights

Spina Bifida (Overview)

Spina bifida is 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
218 doctors shared insights

Spina Bifida (Overview)

Spina bifida is 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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