How does spina bifida affect the body?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Spina bifida occurs in varying degrees of severity, all of which affect the body in different ways. In mild cases of spina bifida without an open spinal defect, there is little to no affect on the body.  In forms of spina bifida with an open spinal defect, spina bifida can have a severe impact on both the body and mind. The following are just a few of the effects of spina bifida:
-  Paralysis: Based on degree of nerve damage, even the less severe types of spina bifida can lead to some amount of paralysis.
-  Mental Disabilities and Learning Difficulties: Not all affected individuals have some or all of these issues.
-  Chari II: A brain defect, this disorder occurs in some children with severe spina bifida.
-  Loss of Urine and Bowel Functions: These disorders can occur with even mild forms of spina bifida.

Continue Learning about Spina Bifida

What is open spina bifida?
Diana MeeksDiana Meeks
Open spina bifida is the less common version of the birth defect spina bifida, also known as cleft s...
More Answers
How many people are affected by spina bifida?
Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhDDr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Spina bifida is the most common neural tube defect affecting babies in the United States. Out of the...
More Answers
What are the different types of spina bifida?
Diana MeeksDiana Meeks
There are four different types of spina bifida: occulta, closed neural tube defects, meningocele, an...
More Answers
When should I start encouraging independence in my child with spina bifida?
Univ. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family MedicineUniv. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family Medicine
Developing independence can be especially challenging for children with spina bifida. Parents should...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.