Spina bifida is a developmental congenital disorder caused by the incomplete closing of the embryonic neural tube.The emergence of spinia bifida in embryonic development is between the third and fourth week of pregnancy.The complaints depend on which parts of the spinal cord are affected and on what level of the spine the gap is. The following types of spina bifida are distinguished.
Spina bifida occulta
The outer part of some of the vertebrae is not completely closed. In most cases the skin at the site of the lesion is normal. Most people even do not know that they have spina bifida as the spina bifida occulta is usually asymptomatic. Therefore no medical treatment is necessary.
Spina bifida aperta
It describes the open / visible form of spina bifida. The severity and the effects depend on the level and characteristics of the defect.The emerging problems are for example the paralysis of the limbs, the bladder and the intestines. A hydrocephalus combined with a mental disorder may also occur.
The consequential damages of spina bifida often begin in early childhood, but are sometimes only noticeable in adulthood. Typical sequelae are bowel and bladder problems as well as certain muscles are impaired in their function. A disturbed bladder function cause draining problems, either a complete emptying of the bladder is impossible or bladder emptying is uncontrollable.
In addition muscle weakness in the legs up to a paraplegia with emotion disorders and a complete paralysis of the legs often occur.
Together with the spina bifida often a hydrocephalus occurs. Due to a drainage problem, brain spinal cord fluid accumulates in the ventricles of water.