Types of Spina Bifida
Spina Bifida Occulta
Spina Bifida Occulta does not cause neurologic problems such as paralysis or weakness. Many people never know they have the disorder until it is diagnosed as a result of subsequent medical tests. Surgery can fix the swelling. Usually the nerves underneath work fine but may be stuck down to the bones. This is called Tethered Cord Syndrome.
Tethered Cord Syndrome
This is another condition that is often related to Spina Bifida, and occurs as a result of tissue attaching to the spinal cord and tethering it to the bone or skin. As your child grows the nerves become stretched and may not work as well. Any increase in clumsiness or changes to bowel or bladder habits may be a sign of this. Tethered cord usually occurs within the first 5 years of life and requires nerve release surgery.
Spina Bifida Myelomeningocoele
When Spina Bifida Myelomeningocoele occurs, the nerves don’t form normally and may be damaged and usually the strength and co-ordination of any limbs and muscles below the gap in the spine is affected, including normal bladder and bowel function.
The point along the spinal cord where the undeveloped area occurs is called the “level” of Spina Bifida. When the “level” occurs higher up the spinal column, normal nerve function will be affected to a greater extent. Spina Bifida Myelomeningocoele can adversely affect many body systems including the nervous system, the bones and muscles as well as the kidneys and bladder.