Spina bifida is a life-long condition present from birth that can cause mild or severe complications, such as changes to feeling/sensation or mobility. While in the womb, a child’s spine and spinal nerves do not develop correctly or, in some cases, grow outside the body. Spina bifida can affect your child’s life in many ways and make it challenging to just be a kid.
At our spina bifida center, we provide care to help your child achieve the highest quality of life possible. Whether for a serious complication or long-term healthcare support, our expert providers offer all the services your child needs in one place. We care for children with spina bifida from birth up to 21 years old, and we provide referrals and guidance to your child for managing spina bifida into adulthood.
Why Choose Us
- Experience you can trust: We’ve provided care for children with spina bifida for over 40 years, offering the highest levels of expertise to support your child.
- The care you need in one location: Your child will have access to a wide range of spina bifida specialists, all in one location. Our providers include neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, urologists, gastroenterologists, pediatricians, physiatrists and other experts.
- Improving research and treatment: We actively partner with the Spina Bifida Association, a national organization dedicated to improving spina bifida research, care, and treatment.
- Whole person care: Spina bifida can affect all aspects of your child’s health. We care for the whole child, including physical and mental well-being.
Conditions We Treat
Spina bifida causes spine and nerve abnormalities that come with a range of mild or severe complications. We focus on helping you and your child manage many of these complications, such as:
- Loss of bladder and bowel control, the most common effect of spina bifida.
- Mobility issues, such as the ability to walk and move without assistance.
- Tethered cord, when the spine loses flexibility (which can sometimes happen after initial spina bifida surgery).
- Hydrocephalus, or excess fluid buildup in the brain.
We also care for conditions that resemble spina bifida, such as:
- Caudal regression, or abnormal lower spine development in a fetus.
- VACTREL association, or birth defects that affect several parts of the body at the same time and usually include spinal abnormalities.
Services We Offer
While spina bifida can’t be cured, we do offer ways to manage many of its complications. We’ll work to understand your child’s condition and provide care that helps them achieve their fullest potential. With the right support, your child can grow up happy and determined.
Our care includes:
- Prenatal counseling after doctors diagnose your child with spina bifida (before birth). We can help you understand the condition and what to expect.
- Surgery, provided by our expert neurosurgeons or orthopedic surgeons to address spina bifida or more serious complications.
- Support for managing bowel and bladder issues, including using catheters and coping with the social aspects of bladder and bowel issues.
- Mobility support, including helping you decide when or if your child needs assistive tools, such as braces or walkers.
- Ventriculoperitoneal shunts (VPS), small tubes placed in the brain to help drain abnormal fluid buildup (hydrocephalus) and reduce pressure.
- Overall health monitoring for any changes in your child’s condition. This includes monitoring VPSs.