Spina Bifida - Treatment

The first goal in treating spina bifida is to close the gap in the patient's spinal column. The decision as to how and when to perform this surgery can be very difficult, however. It depends on a number of factors, including the extent and location of injury.

Patients with spina bifida may require other operations to deal with complications of the disorder. Surgery may be needed to correct clubfeet, hip dislocations, and other disorders of the skeleton. In addition, children with hydrocephalus may require the installation of a drainage tube in the brain to relieve fluid pressure.

Children with spina bifida may also require the insertion of a catheter. A catheter is a thin tube inserted into the bladder, which can empty the bladder when the patient can not. Problems with bowel movements may require high-fiber diets, laxatives, or enemas to avoid blockage of the bowel.

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