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Spina Bifida - Best Neurosurgeon and Neurologist in Bangalore | Dr.Venugopal

Spina Bifida

One of the major Birth defect (congenital disorder) affecting the brain and spine is neural tube defect called as Spina Bifida. It happens when the neural tube, which includes the brain and spine of the embryo, does not close. This happens during the first month of pregnancy, often before the mother knows she is pregnant. There are many forms of neural tube defects.

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Some vertebrae overlying the spinal cord are not fully formed and remain unfused and open. If the opening is large enough, this allows a portion of the spinal cord to protrude through the opening in the bones, There may or may not be a fluid-filled sac surrounding the spinal cord.

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Physical Signs

  • Orthopedic abnormalities (ie club foot, hip dislocation)
  • Bladder and bowel control problems, including incontinence, urinary tract infrctions, and poor renal function.
  • Pressure sores and skin irritationsl
  • Abnormal eye movement
  • 68% of children with spina bifida have an allergy to latex
  • Paralysis
  • Scoliosis
  • Back pain
  • Partial or complete lack of sensation
  • Weakness of the hips, legs or feet of a newborn

Neurological complications

Many individuals with Spina bifida have an associated abnormality of the cerebellum malformation, in affected individuals, the back portion of the brain is displaced from the back of the skull down into the upper neck.

Executive Function

Specific areas of difficulty in some individuals include planning, organizing, initiating, and working memory. Problem-solving, abstraction, and visual planning may also be impaired.

It is an emergency situation and surgical management is the only option

  • There is no known cure for nerve damage caused by Spina bifida
  • The Spinal cord and its nerve roots are put back inside the spine and covered
  • In addition, a shunt may be surgically installed to provide a continuous drain for the excess CSF produced in the brain.
  • Shunts most commonly drain into the chest wall.
  • Monitoring growth and development of bones, muscles and joints.
  • Treat and evaluate nervous system issues such as seizure disorders, if any.
  • Physical therapy
  • Speech therapy
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Studies have found that the B-vitamin folic acid may help to prevent spina bifida in some cases. Women who have a family history of these defects and could become pregnant should take a vitamin with 4000 micrograms of folic acid daily. Use this vitamin only if recommend by your healthcare provider. They should also eat foods rich in folic acid such as green vegetables and whole grains. The key is having enough folic acid in the system before and during the early weeks of pregnancy, before the neural structures close.

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