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Myelomeningocele

Treatment for Myelomeningocele

The key priorities in treating myelomeningocele are to prevent infection from developing through the exposed nerves and tissue of the defect on the spine and to protect the exposed nerves and structures from additional trauma. In most cases, a child born with this condition will have surgery within the first couple of days after birth. The surgery will return the spinal cord and nerves inside of the body and close the opening in the spine with muscle and skin.
 
Doctors have recently begun performing fetal surgery for treatment of myelomeningocele. Fetal surgery, which is performed in utero (within the uterus), involves opening the mother's abdomen (stomach) and uterus, and sewing shut the opening over the developing baby's spinal cord.
 
Other treatments include:
 
  • Ongoing therapy
  • Medical care to prevent and manage complications throughout the individual's life
  • Surgical treatments
  • Assistive devices such as braces, crutches, or wheelchairs.
 
(Click Treatment of Spina Bifida for more information.)
 

Effects of Myelomeningocele

In most cases of myelomeningocele, all of the nerves that are located below the malformation on the spine are affected. This means that the higher the opening occurs on the back, the greater the amount of nerve damage and loss of muscle function and sensation a person will have.
 
Other possible effects include:
 
 
(Click Effects of Spina Bifida for more information.)
 
Know the Signs - Concussion Safety

Spina Bifida Information

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