Definition: a congenital defect of the spine in which part of the spinal cord and its meninges are exposed through a gap in the backbone.
Causes: the causes of spina bifida is unknown but doctors think genetics, nutrition, and the environment are factors of this defect.
Statistics: this defect if very rare, there are less than 200,000 US cases per year.
Characteristics and symptoms: bowel obstruction, muscle weakness, skin cyst, hunched back, nerve injury, paralysis, paralysis of lower body, or physical deformities.
Detecting spina bifida: this is detected through blood tests. The blood tests are done before birth during the second trimester of the pregnancy.
Treatment: there really isn't a permanent treatment for this birth defect because it will require many surgeries.
Cure: the only cure is to get a surgery and wear a back brace.
Long term effects: paralysis depending on severity and area of the effected nerves