Spinal Dysraphism

What are the causes of Spinal Dysraphism?

These conditions result from an anomaly in the early development of an embryo when a section of the neural tube that forms the spinal cord and spine doesn’t close completely. Although the reasons for these abnormalities are not completely understood, genetic and environmental factors may be responsible in some cases.

What are the signs and symptoms of spinal dysraphism?

Symptoms of Spinal Dysraphism present in several different forms based on the condition and vary from mild to severe, for some, there are no symptoms while for some patients it can be life threatening. Below are some of the symptoms based on condition –

Myelomeningocele can cause leg weakness, paralysis, tethered cord, etc.
Split cord malformation can cause spinal curvature and/or tethered cord.
Spinal tumors and cysts – can cause weakness, clumsiness, etc.
Tethered cord – Leg weakness, sensory loss, lower back and leg pain, loss of bladder control, etc.
How is the diagnosis of spinal dysraphism done?

Severe conditions are generally diagnosed early in life like Myelomeningocele etc. are diagnosed during the ultrasound. Some of these conditions are visible in newborns. Other conditions are diagnosed when they cause neurological symptoms like scoliosis, leg weakness, pain, etc. These symptoms usually occur early in life, so they are diagnosed in childhood. Doctors may recommend spinal ultrasound and/or MRI to diagnose the condition.

What treatments for spinal dysraphism are available?

Surgical treatments are available for various forms of Spinal Dysraphism where there are symptoms. The goal of these treatments is to correct the deformity without causing any damage to the spine and avoid any further damage and any loss of neurological function.

What operations for Spinal Dysraphism are available?

The operation most commonly done is Meningomyelocele repair surgery. In this surgery, the spinal dysraphism defect is opened, the neural elements are placed back in the spinal canal and repair is done with the plastic and reconstructive surgery techniques. The surgery is usually done within 48-72 hours after birth to avoid any infection due to the ruptured type. Some patients may need Ventriculo-Peritoneal  shunt surgery for the associated Hydrocephalus.

Dr Nitin Jagdhane is one of the best Neurosurgeon and Spine specialists for doing Minimal Invasive/ Access spine surgery and Paediatric Spine Surgery in Mumbai, India. Get in touch with Dr. Nitin Jagdhane, brain and spine specialist in Mumbai, for the best results for your Spinal Dysraphism repair Surgery.