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Effects of Spina Bifida

Effects of Spina Bifida

The symptoms of Spina Bifida can depend on what type your child has and can be split into 3 categories:

  • Mobility - Mobility can be affected as the spinal cord provides the connection from the brain to the body. If there is damage to the spinal cord some messages might not reach their destination, for example your child's leg muscles might not get the information telling them to move, resulting in weakness and paralysis. Spina bifida doesn't usually affect the upper limbs as it is a lower part of the spinal cord which is usually damaged.
  • Bowel and Bladder Problems- The spinal cord also controls the muscles in your child's bladder and bowels, meaning that if this part is damaged your child could be incontinent.
  • Hydrocephalus- hydrocephalus is an increase in fluid which surrounds the brain and spinal cord, this can happen if your child has spina bifida and could cause damage to the brain resulting in problems understanding language, solving problems and a short attention span.

Other problems can include: visual and physical co-ordination problems for example struggling to tie their shoe laces, seizures (fits) and poor feeding.