Spina bifida is a birth abnormality that arises when the spine and spinal cord do not develop properly during the development process. The condition is classified as a form of neural tube defect. During the development of an embryo, the neural tube is the structure that eventually forms the baby’s brain, spinal cord, and the tissues that surround and protect these structures.
A normal pregnancy begins with neural tube formation, which is completed by the 28th day following conception. Spina bifida is a condition in which a section of the neural tube does not shut or develop properly, resulting in difficulties with the spinal cord and the spine’s bones in infants and children.
According to the type of defect, size, location, and complications, spina bifida can range from mild to severe. In some cases, early therapy for spina bifida may necessitate surgical intervention – however, such intervention may not always completely address the disease.
Types of spina bifida
There are three main types of spina bifida:
1. Spina bifida occulta
Spina bifida occulta is the most frequent and mildest type of this illness. It often affects only a small section of the spine, exhibits no symptoms, and does not require treatment. The skin hides the spinal bone defect when an infant is born with occult spina bifida.
Spina bifida occulta translates as “a concealed spot on the spine,” and the lesion remains hidden in many patients with this kind of spina bifida. However, the skin covering the bone deficiency will exhibit modest changes in some individuals, such as dimples, red or purple pigmentation, or a tuft of hair.
It is a very rare type of spina bifida. It is caused by a sac of spinal fluid coming out of a hole in the spine. This type doesn’t hurt any nerves, and the spinal cord isn’t in the fluid sac. Babies who have meningocele may have some minor problems with their bodies, such as the bladder and bowels.
One of the most serious types is myelomeningocele. It’s also known as open spina bifida, and this is the most common. Several vertebrae open up the spine’s spinal canal in the lower or middle back. In the womb, membranes and spinal nerves push through this opening to form a sac on the back of the baby. This sac usually shows tissues and nerves. This makes the baby more likely to get life-threatening infections and may cause paralysis and problems with the bladder and bowels, which can be very bad for the baby.
Symptoms of spina bifida
A birthmark or a tuft of hair might be the first thing you notice about spina bifida occultist, but these aren’t always the only signs. The sac comes out of the baby’s back in both meningocele and myelomeningocele. Meningocele may have a thin layer of skin on top of the sac, but it’s not always the case.
There isn’t any skin covering the spinal cord tissue most of the time. Another symptom that can cause spina bifida is Weak Leg Muscles, uneven shaped feet and hips, seizures, and even bladder problems.
Treatment of spina bifida
It will be different for each person because the symptoms and severity of spina bifida can change. In some cases, like with spina bifida occulta, there may be no need for treatment. When the sack and nerves are exposed, surgery is needed to put them back where they belong. Some of it may also need to be removed. The surgeon will then close the space over the vertebrae. This is what they will do next. Eventually, someone might need to put a tube in their body to keep things from getting worse. This surgery may be done soon after the birth of the child. It may be possible for prenatal surgery to be done while the baby is still in the womb. It would be best to talk to your doctor about both types of surgery.
Even if you have surgery, you may still have some symptoms and cannot do things. They will have to be taken care of based on how bad each symptom is. Paralysis and problems with the bowel and bladder usually stay with you all your life.