Spina bifida is a birth defect that occurs when the tissue surrounding the spinal cord does not close properly. It is one of several disorders known as neural tube defects. Neural tube defects occur in about one out of every 1,000 births and spina bifida affects seven out of every 10,000 births. Spina bifida is the most common neural tube defect.
Spina bifida is a life-long incurable diagnosis that causes a range of neuromuscular and neuroskeletal effects. The degree of defects ranges with each child and most children require close follow-up by the entire team of specialists until adulthood.
At the CHOC Spina Bifida Clinic, our team of specially trained pediatricians, neurologists, orthopaedists, urologists, nutritionists, nurses and social workers team with families to create the best outcomes possible for children with spina bifida. Our specialists have been internationally recognized for spina bifida treatments and expertise in the very latest surgical techniques. Our team stays up-to-date with the latest research and provides families with closely monitored, ongoing care throughout childhood. We also work with patients and their families to help them transition their healthcare into adulthood.
It is important for patients’ families to know as much as possible about spina bifida and the tests and procedures children must frequently undergo as part of their ongoing care.
A spina bifida diagnosis can be confusing and leave parents with many questions. It is important to know the basics about spina bifida and the three different ways in which it presents in children.
Spina bifida is most often diagnosed before a child is born, but can also be diagnosed after birth. Learn about the types of assessments used to diagnose spina bifida.
Spina bifida is a lifelong condition. Learn about the associated conditions, treatments and long-term outlook for patients with spina bifida.
Children with spina bifida have very specific healthcare needs that family members must assist them with. Learn more about the procedures that families undergo with their children at home.
It is important that parents know the facts about how to prevent spina bifida and their chances of having another child with the condition in subsequent pregnancies.
Because children with spina bifida experience problems with bowel and bladder function, the CHOC Urology Center’s experts will play an important role in each patient’s ongoing treatment.
At CHOC, we are spina bifida experts and work with parents before their child is born and after in order to help them make the most informed decisions about their child’s treatment. We understand that a spina bifida diagnosis brings about many questions that need to be answered, and we are with patients and their families every step of the way providing guidance, information, support, and most importantly, the very best treatment options available to children with spina bifida.