Spina Bifida

UKNOW’s Docs Diagnosis Spina Bifida

Spina Bifida

Spina Bifida literally means “split spine.” Spina Bifida happens when a baby is in the womb and the spinal column does not close all of the way. This happens within the first four weeks of pregnancy. About 120 children are born with spina bifida every year in Canada.

Children born with spina bifida can have impairments of the spinal cord only or also the brain ( depending on the type of spina bifida). With research and advances in medical technology, 90% of the babies survive and become adults!

The three most common types of spina bifida are:

  • Myelomeningocele (my’-low-meh-nin’-go-seal): This is the form in which the spinal cord and its protective covering, the meninges, protrude from the opening in the spine.
  • Meningocele (meh-nin’-go-seal): The spinal cord develops normally, but only the meninges protrudes from the opening created by damaged or missing vertebrae and may be exposed.
  • Occulta (oh-kul’-tah): Occulta, which means “hidden”, indicates that the defect, where one or more vertebrae are malformed, is covered by a layer of skin.

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