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Could you tell me something about a medical condition called Spina Bifida ?

Question:
Could anyone post something about a medical condition called Spina Bifida


Answer:
This is a failure of closure of the spinal canal, usually occuring in thre lower (lumbar) spine area. It is usually surgically corrected (ie, the skin and other tissues are closed over the defect to preven infection), but the physiological paroblem persiste ( reabsorption of spinal fluid produced in the ependyma of the ventricles of the brain). thus, the CSF pressure increases, and shunts must be performed to drain the CSF and prevent hydrocxephalus.

I have been involved in the surgical care of many such infants (many less since the advent of abortion of high risk pregnancies). the usual scenario was first close the spina bifida (a bloody operation that requyired massive transfusion of many of these children), then the next day shunt the CSF. Then we usually did about one shunt revision per day for about a week and then the frequency slowed down. I remember one child who had over twenty surgeries in the first ten days of life the shunts kept blocking off because of the lush growth of the lining of his ventricles). I think that child spent about 50% of his first week of life in the operating room.

A severe disease with poor outcome.



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