Physiatry at Washington Township Medical Foundation
Spina bifida is a birth defect in which the spine does not fully close
as the baby develops. As a developmental birth defect, there are different
types of this condition as well as degrees of severity.
Types of spina bifida include:
- Myelomeningocele (MM)
- Spina bifida occulta
In most cases, the term “spina bifida” in fact refers to the
MM type of this condition, in which the neural tube does not close normally
during prenatal development—a development that typically occurs
within 28 days of conception. In an infant with MM, the spinal cord and
the membrane covering it protrude and the doctor must surgically close
this opening. This procedure usually takes place within a few days of birth.
Rehabilitation for Spina Bifida
A physiatrist will develop a post-surgery rehabilitation plan for patients
with spina bifida based on factors unique to the patient’s diagnosis
such as the site of the neural tube opening, the severity of the condition,
the patient’s age, and degree of mental damage that is present.
Aspects of spina bifida rehabilitation may include bladder / bowel control,
developmental growth, mobility, and functional rehabilitation. Ask your
Fremont physiatrist at WTMF any questions you may have regarding rehabilitation
for patients with spina bifida.