Neurogenic bladder and spina bifida

The Norton Children’s Urology staff physicians are fellowship trained in pediatric and adolescent urology and genitourinary malformation, providing spina bifida and neurogenic bladder care in Louisville and Southern Indiana.

We have state-of-the-art equipment that is unavailable elsewhere in Louisville or Southern Indiana. Our specialists bring skill, respect and sensitivity to caring for your child’s urological needs.

Spina bifida is a birth defect that prevents the spinal column from closing properly. In its most severe form, part of the spine, nerves and tissues develop in a sac outside the spinal column.

How spina bifida affects the bladder

Children born with spina bifida typically have a neurogenic bladder. This means the bladder will have trouble storing urine, properly emptying, or both. This is because nerves in the spinal cord that control the bladder didn’t form properly.

Most infants with spina bifida are born with functioning kidneys, but they can be damaged if the bladder doesn’t empty well and infections develop. Only a small percentage of kids with spina bifida are able to empty their bladders without the help of a catheter.

Many advances have been made in managing neurogenic bladder so that severe kidney damage is uncommon in patients with spina bifida.

Kids born with spina bifida may experience frequent constipation because the nerves that regulate the bowel often don’t form properly. This typically doesn’t become an issue until your child begins solid foods.

Multidisciplinary spina bifida care

Kids with spina bifida will sometimes need to see a pediatrician, urologist, gynecologist, orthopedic surgeon, neurosurgeon and spine surgeon. A collaborative team of providers will be involved in your child’s care.

Norton Children’s offers a special Spina Bifida Clinic on the third Wednesday of every month, allowing spina bifida patients to see their doctors in a single day.

The Norton Children’s Hospital Spina Bifida Clinic offers immediate and long-term care for children. For more information, call (502) 559-7225.

Our team of specialists will work with you to help minimize bladder and kidney problems in your child.

We will monitor your child’s urinary tract system as part of his or her ongoing care. This may include any of the following tests:

  • Urinalysis and urine culture
  • Bladder ultrasound
  • Blood tests to assess kidney function

Treatment for a poorly functioning bladder may include catheterization and medication. In some cases, your provider may recommend bladder surgery may be necessary

Urology – 1670

Contact Us

Want to schedule an appointment with Norton Children’s Urology?

(502) 559-1670

Information on conditions unique to girls and young women can be found at
Norton Children’s

Families can meet goals this summer with wellness workshops

Norton Children’s Prevention & Wellness, with support from Kohl’s Cares, offers wellness workshops and classes for the whole family throughout the year. Our wellness specialists team up with community organizations like Healthy House and Shively […]

Read Full Story

When should you wash your hands?

Washing your hands is the easiest way to keep yourself and others from getting sick. Think of it as a do-it-yourself vaccine: Hand hygiene helps prevent diarrhea, strep throat, the flu and many other illnesses […]

Read Full Story

School and Sports Physicals on Your Schedule

Many elementary, middle and high school students start new sports seasons when they return to school in August. For most, an annual exam, known as a “sports physical,” must be completed before participating in sports. […]

Read Full Story

Louisville second-grader heads to U.S. Capitol to advocate for kids’ health

Hey there! My name is Eleanor and I’m 8 years old. I love drawing and art. I also really like to play with Legos with my little sister. I’m in the second grade, and the […]

Read Full Story

Why go to a pediatric emergency department for your child’s care?

Your child has an accident and your pediatrician’s office is closed; or maybe you’re traveling. When your child needs emergency care, it’s tempting to go to the closest hospital or immediate care center so he […]

Read Full Story

Search our entire site.