Causes and symptoms of spina bifida in children

June 30, 2018 01:30 | Children

Spina bifida is one of the congenital malformations that is accompanied by an irregular formation of the vertebrae around part of the spinal cord. The disease affects the lower back, in rare cases - also the spinal cord. As a rule, a spina bifida in children does not present a serious problem, it can have an effect on the appearance of the skin on the back. However, in severe cases, a cleft on the back complicates walking, can hamper ordinary actions, and help from relatives may be required.

There are two forms of the disease course - mild and severe. Most often there is an easy form of spina bifida. As a rule, with mild form of the disease does not cause problems and does not require special treatment. Some people may not know about the presence of a cleft.

Causes of spina bifida in children

What causes the development of spina bifida in children is still unknown. According to scientists, heredity and the environment, namely, unfavorable ecology, are factors that can influence the development of the disease.

There are factors that have a developmental cleft in a child:

  • excess weight in a future mother,
  • the presence of diabetes,
  • taking certain medications.

Spina bifida in a child belongs to the group of neural tube defects .It is from the neural tube that the spinal cord and the brain begin to develop. Normally, the neural tube should close about a month after conception, otherwise vices develop.

If a couple has a child with a diagnosis of "spina bifida", there is a high probability that the second child will be born with the same diagnosis. This risk increases with each subsequent child.

How does the spina bifida appear in children?

Symptoms of the disease directly depend on the severity of development of the spine in the child's spine. The mild form of the disease may not manifest itself in any way. There may appear pits on the back, some areas of the skin can become covered with hair, stains on the body may appear.

In cases of a more severe course of the disease, the protruding nerves and their swelling are visible on the back. The child can quickly get tired, feel the numbness of the limbs.

Children can be born with fluid in the brain on the background of a very severe form of spina bifida. It is not excluded the occurrence of seizures, there is a risk of problems with vision, scoliosis.


Diagnosis of a spina bifida in a child can be done during intrauterine development by ultrasound.

After the birth of a child, the doctor confirms or refutes the diagnosis, this is done by radiographic examination or magnetic resonance imaging, which helps to identify the severity of the disease.

In order to prevent development of the fetal spina bifida, future mothers( as well as women planning pregnancy) are recommended to take folic acid, which helps to prevent damage to the neural tube.

The most interesting news