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Spina Bifida: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Spina Bifida: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

June 9, 2023


Spina Bifida is a complex neural tube defect that occurs during early fetal development and affects the spine and spinal cord. As a consultant Neurosurgeon specializing in pediatric neurosurgery, I aim to shed light on this condition by providing a comprehensive overview of its causes, symptoms, and available treatment options. By understanding Spina Bifida, we can work towards early detection, intervention, and improved outcomes for affected individuals.

Causes of Spina Bifida

Spina Bifida arises due to the incomplete closure of the neural tube during the first few weeks of pregnancy. While the exact cause remains unknown, several factors contribute to the development of this condition. Genetic predisposition, maternal folic acid deficiency, certain medications, and environmental factors are believed to play a role, says Best Pediatric Neurosurgeon in Kolkata Dr. Kaushik Sil

Types and Symptoms of Spina Bifida

  1. Spina Bifida Occulta: This is the mildest form, where the spinal cord and nerves are typically unaffected. Physical signs may be minimal or absent, but there may be an underlying bony abnormality, such as a small gap or malformation in the vertebrae.
  2. Meningocele: In this form, a fluid-filled sac protrudes through an opening in the spinal column. The sac contains the meninges, and protective coverings around the spinal cord. Neurological symptoms may be minimal, but there may be bladder and bowel dysfunction.
  3. Myelomeningocele: This is the most severe form, where both the meninges and spinal cord protrude through an opening in the spine. Neurological complications are common, resulting in varying degrees of paralysis, bladder and bowel dysfunction, and sensory impairments.

Treatment Options for Spina Bifida

According to Top Neurosurgeon, Treatment for Spina Bifida typically involves a multidisciplinary approach involving neurosurgeons, pediatricians, orthopedic surgeons, urologists, and physical therapists. The specific treatment plan depends on the type and severity of the condition. Surgical repair of the spinal defect is often necessary in cases of meningocele and myelomeningocele. Additional interventions may be required to manage associated complications, such as hydrocephalus, bladder and bowel dysfunction, and orthopedic abnormalities.


Spina Bifida is a complex neural tube defect that can have a significant impact on an individual’s life. Understanding the causes, recognizing the symptoms, and accessing appropriate medical care is essential for managing this condition effectively. With early detection, intervention, and comprehensive treatment approaches, we can improve the quality of life for individuals affected by Spina Bifida.