Spina Bifida

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Spina bifida is a birth defect in which a developing babys spinal cord fails to develop properly. In todays 60 Second Housecall, Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about spina bifida.

Dr. Hill:

Spina bifida is part of a group of birth defects called neural tube defects. In babies with spina bifida, a portion of the neural tube fails to develop or close properly, causing defects in the spinal cord and in the bones of the spine.

Spina bifida develops early in pregnancy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that women who take folic acid before and during their pregnancy can significantly decrease their risk of having a child with spina bifida.

There are different severities of spina bifida. The most serious type can cause nerve damage and problems with walking, bladder control and coordination.

Meningocele occurs when fluid has leaked out of the spinal canal, causing a swollen area on the babys spine. Myelomeningocele, the most severe form of spina bifida, occurs when a segment of the spinal nerves pushes against the underside of the skin and becomes damaged. In the worst cases, the tissues and nerves are exposed outside of the body.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.