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Congenital disorders of the spine

Congenital deformities of the spine are caused by anomalous vertebral development in the embryo. Minor malformations of the spine are seldom apparent and often are identified only on routine chest films. The more severe congenital malformations that result in progressive scoliosis is even less common than are idiopathic scolioses. Congenital anomalies of the spine may be simple and benign, causing no spinal deformity, or they may be complex, producing severe spinal deformity or even cor pulmonale or paraplegia.

Spina bifida

Spina bifida (cleft spine) is a birth defect affecting the spinal column. Spina bifida progresses from a cleft or split like opening, in the back part of the backbones (the spinal vertebrae). In more severe cases, it involves the spinal cord. Spina bifida is the most common of a group of birth defects known as neural tube defects, which affect the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord).

Types of Spina bifida

There are 3 types of spina bifida.

Causes of Spina bifida

The cause of myelomeningocele is unknown. However, low levels of folic acid in a woman's body before and during early pregnancy are thought to play a part in this type of birth defect. The vitamin folic acid (or folate) is important for brain and spinal cord development.

Also, if a child is born with myelomeningocele, future children in that family have a higher risk than the general population. However, in many cases, there is no family connection.

Some theorize that a virus make play a role, since there is a higher rate of this condition in children born in the early winter months. Research also indicates possible environmental factors such as radiation.

Symptoms of Spina bifida

Symptoms of Spina bifida include:

Treatments for Spina bifida


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