Spina Bifida

What is spina bifida?

In Spina Bifida, the neural tube, a clump of cells that forms a baby’s brain and spinal cord, does not close entirely. The backbone of the spine does not develop properly. This might result in both physical and mental problems. 

What are the different types of Spina Bifida?

  1. Spina Bifida Occulta 

The spinal cord and nerves are generally fine in Spina Bifida Occulta; however, there may be a small gap in the spine. When people have an X-ray for another reason, they frequently discover out they have SBO. 

  1. Meningocele 

When a bag of spinal fluid (but not the spinal cord) pushes through an opening in the baby’s back, it causes spina bifida. Some people have no symptoms at all, while others have bladder and bowel issues. 

  1. Myelomeningocele 

Spina bifida is the most severe form of the condition. A bag of fluid pokes out of the baby’s spinal canal, opens in one or more spots in the lower or middle back. This sac also contains a portion of the spinal cord and nerves, which might be injured. 

What are the symptoms of Spina Bifida?

A bunch of hair or a birthmark at the lesion site may be the most visible symptom of spina bifida occulta. The sac bulging through the infant’s back is visible in meningocele and myelomeningocele. A thin layer of skin may cover the sac in the case of meningocele. 

The common symptoms are: 

Leg muscles that are weak (in rare circumstances, the infant is unable to move them at all)
A bent spine unusually formed feet, or uneven hips (scoliosis)
Problems with the bowels or bladder

Breathing, eating, and moving the upper arms may also be difficult for children. They could also be overweight.

How is the diagnosis of Spina Bifida made?

A blood test, Ultrasound, and Amniocentesis can be performed to check for Spina Bifida while the baby is still inside the mother’s womb. The doctor will almost certainly want to take X-rays of the baby’s body and do an MRI scan, which employs strong magnets and radio waves to produce more detailed images. 

What are the treatments of Spina Bifida?

Doctors can operate on infants as young as a few days old or even while still in the womb. If the newborn has meningocele, the surgeon will close the opening and replace the membrane around the spinal cord within 24 to 48 hours after birth. 

If the newborn has myelomeningocele, the tissue and spinal cord will be placed back into the baby’s body and covered with skin. A shunt, a hollow tube inserted into the baby’s brain to prevent water from pooling on the brain, is sometimes used by the surgeon (called hydrocephalus). This is also done within the first 24 to 48 hours of the baby’s birth.

What preventive measures for Spina Bifida need to be taken?

According to studies, taking a multivitamin with folic acid can help prevent spina bifida and reduce your baby’s risk of developing this and other birth abnormalities—any woman who is pregnant or attempting to conceive needs 400 micrograms per day. If you have spina bifida or a kid with spina bifida, you should take 4,000 micrograms per day for at least a month before getting pregnant and for the first few months after giving birth.

What are the operations/ surgical treatments available for Spina Bifida?

Dr Nitin Jagdhane is one of the best Neurosurgeon and Pediatric Spine specialists for Spina Bifida in Mumbai, India. Get in touch with Dr. Nitin Jagdhane, brain and spine specialist in Mumbai, for the best results for your Spina Bifida treatment.