What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Spina Bifida?
There are different types of spina bifida. Therefore the symptoms vary from person to person, depending on which type they have.
Often, individuals with spina bifida occulta there are no symptoms of the condition. This is because the defect is hidden under the skin and the nerves are not involved in the defect. These types of defects, may be noticed early in life if there is an abnormal tuft or clump of hair, or a small dimple or birthmark on the skin at the site where the spine is not properly formed, may be picked up incidentally when the spine is imaged for other reasons, or rarely may cause symptoms as the child grows if the defect creates tension on the growing spinal cord.
With other types of spina bifida, open meningocele and myelomeningocele, there will usually be a fluid-filled sac – visible on the back – sticking out from the spinal cord. In meningocele, a thin layer of skin may cover the sac. In most cases of myelomeningocele, there is no layer of skin covering the sac and a portion of spinal cord tissue is usually exposed.
What can I expect now that my child has been diagnosed with spina bifida?
Visit the My Child Without Limits support community and talk to fellow parents, caregivers, and experts about the challenges facing your child.