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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Spina Bifida: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Brain and Nervous System

Spina Bifida

Alternate Names : Spinal Rachischisis, Spinal Dysraphism

Spina Bifida | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the condition?

Treatment depends on the severity and location of the defect. Mild forms of the condition may not require treatment. Severe defects may require immediate surgery after birth and intense treatment for the rest of the person's life. Following are other treatment options:

  • assistive devices, such as a wheelchair, crutches, or braces
  • medication to treat medical problems
  • physical therapy and occupational therapy
  • surgery to cover defects with skin to prevent infection
  • surgical correction of problems with various organ systems
  • a ventriculoperitoneal shunt, which is a tube inserted from the brain to the abdomen to drain excess fluid
  • What are the side effects of the treatments?

    Surgery carries a risk of bleeding, infection, and allergic reaction to anesthesia.

    What happens after treatment for the condition?

    The greater the damage, the longer and more intensive the treatment must be. Some people who have spina bifida need treatment for life.

    How is the condition monitored?

    Parents can help monitor the symptoms. The healthcare provider also uses the physical exam to monitor the condition. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.

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    Spina Bifida: Prevention & Expectations


    Author: Adam Brochert, MD
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 06/11/01

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