Nervous System Home > Cure for Spina Bifida

Currently, spina bifida is a disease with no cure. However, there are many treatment options (including surgery, medication, and physiotherapy) that can prevent and manage complications throughout a person's life.

Is There a Cure for Spina Bifida?

There is no cure for spina bifida, because the nerve tissue that is damaged or lost cannot be repaired or replaced. Also, function cannot be restored to the damaged nerves.

What Are the Treatment Options?

Without a spina bifida cure, treatment for this disorder may include surgery, medication, and physiotherapy. Treatment will depend on the type (see Types of Spina Bifida) and severity of the disorder. In most cases, children with the mild form of spina bifida will not need treatment, although some children may require surgery as they grow. However, many people with spina bifida will need assistive devices such as braces, crutches, or wheelchairs.
Other treatments for spina bifida include ongoing therapy, medical care, and surgical treatments, which may be necessary to prevent and manage complications throughout a person's life. Babies who are born with spina bifida will need surgery to close the spinal opening to minimize the risk of infection and to preserve existing function in the spinal cord.

What's the Prognosis?

Children with spina bifida can lead relatively active lives. A person's spina bifida prognosis will depend on the number of abnormalities, the severity of abnormalities, and the associated complications. Most children with spina bifida will be of normal intelligence and will be able to walk (usually with assistive devices). If learning problems develop, early educational intervention can be helpful.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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