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The baby with spina bifida

The baby with spina bifida


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Thespina bifida It is a congenital problem that completely conditions the life of those who suffer from it. The origin of this ailment is in the neural tube, which is the embryonic structure that gives rise to the brain and spinal cord. It is when the baby's spine does not form normally.

Its formation and closure occurs around the day 28 of pregnancy But sometimes, due to, among other things, a lack of folic acid in the mother's diet, the neural tube does not close completely and the baby suffers from malformations of varying degrees of the spinal cord and vertebrae. The consequences of such a complication are very serious.

Spina bifida is a congenital malformation, which generates a great wear and tear on the body. Its effects depend on the exact point of the spine where the injury is located and are greater the closer it is to the head.

In addition to the loss of sensation below the level of injury, muscle weakness, difficulty controlling the muscles of the bladder and sphincters, and hydrocephalus, a disease that is observed in 70 percent of those affected and that is generated by the difficulty of the body to drain the fluid that protects the brain. The complete list of sequelae also includes poorly descended testes in boys, precocious puberty in girls, and a tendency to obesity in both sexes.

When the woman notices that her period is missing and thinks she is pregnant, usually the neural tube has already formed. If you have a deficiency during conception folic acid, the formation will not be correct, so the spinal cord, nervous system and meninx are exposed, without bone protection, in the area where the malformation occurs.

In this way, the baby can be born with a bulge, especially in the lumbo-sacral area, and the closer it is to the head, the stronger the sequelae. From the lesion downwards, all are problems, at a sensitive, cutaneous, sphincter or mobility level.

Spina bifida can manifest itself in two ways in babies.

1- Hidden. About 20 percent of the population suffers from spina bifida occult, without discovering it, although there is usually a dimple on the back or a reddish mole.

2- Open. It comes in two ways:

- The meningocele. It has the characteristic of presenting the bump covered by skin. It is not usually operated, it leaves fewer sequelae in the patient, but it does cause problems at the sphincter level.

- Myelomeningocele. It is not covered by skin, but by a slight membrane that forces the child to intervene as soon as it is born to close the malformation. It is the most serious and the most common. In addition, in 90 percent of cases, hydrocephalus develops, so a valve must be placed to drain the fluid so that it does not accumulate in the brain.

- Hydrocephalus. Accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid inside the head, causing an increase in size. It should be intervened by placing a Holter valve to favor the exit of the liquid.

- Orthopedic alterations. The most frequent: dislocation of the hip, clubfoot and deviation of the spine. The absence of bone motility causes fractures.

- Alterations in urological and intestinal function. Difficulty controlling sphincters and intestinal motility.

- Behavioral disturbances. Parents should be guided and provided with adequate psychological treatment, since there is a tendency to overprotection, in some cases.

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Video: What Is Spina Bifida? 2 of 12 (February 2023).