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Can you recommend me some information about Spina Bifida(including the definition)?

Question:
I have just had X-rays for a very painful, but not serious back injury, and one of the things that they found in the pictures is that I have Spina Bifida in the lower spine. My injury is in the mid thoracic reigon, and the only reason that they took pictures of the lower spine is that when I lie flat on my back or front for long periods of time, which I have been forced to do over the last month, my right thigh goes numb. My doctor has concluded that the numbness is caused by the Spina Bifida.

I have had this thigh numbness when I lie down for longer than I can remember, and it doesn't bother me, except at the moment, with my thoracic injury.

I've been to the library to get books on Spina Bifida, but the problem with the information in them is that they only talk about the condition in cases where it is debilitating. That's fair enough I guess. Who wants to know about people with this condition who don't suffer with it :-).

What I'm concerned about is what are the long term implications for me. Are there things I should avoid doing, what - if any - problems can I expect in the future. I'm not even sure what questions I should ask you guys. I've yet to speak to my GP in detail about this, as my thoracic injury is a much higher priority at the moment, but I certainly will when I'm able.

Any information anyone out there can offer me would be greatly appreciated.


Answer:
There is a difference between Spina Bifida, and Spina Bifida Occulta, and I imagine that you have been diagnosed with the later. Spina Bifida is "a congenital cleft of the vertebral column with hernial protusion of the meninges." Spina Bifida Occulta has the same definition, except that there is no hernial protrusion. I also have the later, which was diagnosed when I was in my 20's when I had fallen and injured my back and had to have x-rays. Needless to say, I was also very upset but found that it is commonly found in 10% of the population. It is apparently nothing to worry about - the doctors told me that if I hadn't been suffering any problems (arthritic) up to that point, I probably never would. The only problem I have had is that I am not able to stand in a military attention stance, as my rear end sticks out (curve in back - not a big rear end). Again, I was told this was a normal side effect. See an orthopedic surgeon/neurologist for a good evaluation and good luck!



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