Norton Children’s board-certified neurosurgeons are led by Thomas M. Moriarity, M.D., Ph.D., a recognized leader in the field with deep experience and specialized training. Our physicians have the sophisticated tools and skill to give you and your child a precise diagnosis and a treatment plan for spina bifida that minimizes risk, so your child can get back to being a kid.
What is spina bifida?
Spina bifida happens when the brain, spinal cord or the membranes that cover them (meninges) don’t fully develop the way they should. There are several types, ranging from mild and symptomless to severe and potentially debilitating.
Nearly 1,500 babies are born with spina bifida each year.
Spina bifida treatment options
This will vary depending on your child’s symptoms. Among the options are:
- Bracing or orthopedic surgery
- Spine surgery for scoliosis
- Bladder surgery
- Bowel surgery
- Surgery for a tethered spinal cord
- An ETV/CPC procedure that helps with hydrocephalus
Health and treatment rarely happen in a silo. Those dealing with more severe forms of spina bifida often find themselves making appointments with a pediatrician, urologist, gynecologist, orthopedic surgeon, neurosurgeon and spine surgeon all in the same week. It can be taxing.
One of the things that sets Norton Children’s Hospital apart is its special Spina Bifida Clinic, held on the third Wednesday of every month. The clinic allows parents and patients with the condition to see all of their doctors in a single day, and it allows the physicians to better coordinate care.
Since it began in 2016, the clinic has served 61 patients through 320 appointments. Each patient typically sees three to four specialists during a visit. It normally would require more than 1,100 separate specialty appointments for the same care.
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