Spina Bifida Treatment Options

Currently there is no cure for spina bifida but there are a few options to lessen the severity of the symptoms. However, in most instances surgery will be required to help ease the issues associated with spina bifida. There are three essential types of spina bifida including spina bifida occulta, which is the least severe form, typically arriving with no symptoms. Birthmarks or light skin dimpling on the back may be present but in many cases there will be no adverse effects. Meningocele and myelomeningocele are the two more severe forms of spina bifida and will require surgery to help protect the patient from additional damage.

This video explores what families experience as they learn about treatment options and decide on the spina bifida treatment that’s right for them.

Treatment for Meningocele Spina Bifida

In cases of meningocele the protective sheathing around the spinal cord appears to poke out through the skin. Early surgery can put the cord back into its proper place to lessen the potential damage to the spinal cord.

Treatment for Myelomeningocele Spina Bifida

The most severe form of spinal bifida, myelomeningocele usually presents with the loss of feeling in the lower limbs and paralysis and may include bowel and bladder problems. Surgery is also recommended for this type of spina bifida but should be performed within the first few days of the baby’s birth.

Pre-Birth Surgery Options

Another option for infants that have been diagnosed with spina bifida prior to delivery is surgery while the fetus remains in the womb. This pre-birth surgery prevents additional damage to the baby’s nerves but it does pose higher risks for the mother and the infant with the potential for a premature birth. Infants who have had this surgery have been less likely to require crutches or other braces after birth.

Euroscience News: Breakthroughs in Pre-natal surgery


Caesarean Section Delivery

To reduce the severity of spina bifida, infants diagnosed with the ailment are often delivered by cesarean section. This method of birth reduces the stress on the exposed or partially exposed nerves and if surgery is planned can be performed much sooner than on those that were delivered through traditional birth.

Continuous Care

Even those who have undergone surgery ongoing care will be required, especially for those that have already experienced nerve damage. Physical therapy will be needed and ongoing sessions will be required.

As children with spina bifida get older they may need the help of braces or crutches, provided their paralysis is minor. Additionally, depending on the damage to the spinal cord additional surgery may be required to help ease problems associated with a spinal cord injury.

Spina bifida sufferers also suffer more infections, especially bladder infections and may need continuing treatment with antibiotics to help prevent recurring problems.

Stem Cell Treatment:

You can read about it here.

Video on Non-medical treatments for Spina Bifida

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