Spina Bifida Occulta Surgery: Treating Spina Bifida

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Spina Bifida occulta is the least severe form of Spina Bifida. Occulta means “hidden,” so there are often no signs or symptoms of Spina Bifida occulta and some people with the condition may live their lives without ever knowing they are affected. However, some people with Spina Bifida occulta do develop problems and must undergo Spina Bifida occulta surgery in order to treat these problems and improve their lives.

Spina Bifida Occulta Surgery: Tethered Cord Release

Because the spinal column fails to close completely in Spina Bifida, patients with Spina Bifida may develop tethered spinal cord. Spina Bifida occulta surgery to correct the condition is often necessary to prevent pain, muscle weakness, and eventual paralysis (Neurosurgery Today). According to Neurosurgery Today, some of the causes of tethered spinal cord are a split spinal cord, benign growths on the spinal cord, and a history of spinal cord injury and trauma. Spina Bifida is also one of the major causes of tethered spinal cord.

Spina Bifida Occulta Surgery: Bladder Surgery

Depending on the location of the lesion, Spina Bifida can cause problems with the bladder. These problems can include urinary retention, poor urinary control, incontinence, and neurogenic bladder (Texas Pediatric Urological Associates). The bladder function of a child with Spina Bifida can be evaluated using a number of diagnostic studies. If bladder function is diminished, Spina Bifida occulta surgery may be necessary to correct the problem and help the child to live a more normal life.

Spina Bifida Occulta Surgery: Bowel Surgery

According to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, the nerve damage that occurs as a result of Spina Bifida can result in problems with constipation, bowel control, and other bowel issues. Spina Bifida occulta surgery may be needed to correct these bowel problems so that children with Spina Bifida can have a more normal life. This type of surgery can help to improve a child’s bowel control or to reduce the bowel problems associated with having Spina Bifida.

Spina Bifida Occulta Surgery Reference Materials

The following sources were consulted while preparing this article on Spina Bifida occulta surgery. If you have an interest in learning more about Spina Bifida occulta surgery, consult these sources for additional information.

Neurosurgery Today. “Tethered Spinal Cord Syndrome.” Published December 2005. Retrieved December 1, 2008. Available: Neurosurgery Today

Texas Pediatric Urological Associates. “Spina Bifida Urinary Tract Concerns.” Retrieved December 1, 2008. Available: Texas Pediatric Urological Associates

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. “Spina Bifida: Pediatric Spina Bifida Surgery.” Retrieved December 1, 2008. Available: Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin