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Spina Bifida

How Is It Treated?

Although there is no cure for spina bifida, treatment may include surgery, medication, and physiotherapy.
 
Treatment options include:
 
  • Assistive devices such as braces, crutches, or wheelchairs.
 
  • Ongoing therapy, medical care, and surgical treatments -- these may be necessary to prevent and manage complications throughout the individual's life.
 
  • Surgery to close the newborn's spinal opening. Surgery is generally performed within 24 hours after birth to minimize the risk of infection and to preserve existing function in the spinal cord.
 
(Click Treatment of Spina Bifida for more information about this topic.)
 

Prognosis

The prognosis for individuals with spina bifida will depend on the number and severity of abnormalities. The prognosis is poor for those with complete paralysis, hydrocephalus, and other congenital defects. However, with proper care, most children with spina bifida live well into adulthood.
  

Can Spina Bifida Be Prevented?

Recent studies have shown that folic acid may significantly reduce the incidence of spina bifida. Therefore, it is recommended that all women of childbearing age consume 0.4 mg of folic acid daily.
 
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Spina Bifida Information

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