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Myelomeningocele: Symptoms and Treatment


Myelomeningocele is a type of birth defect in which the spinal canal and the backbone do not close before the baby is born, also known as spina bifida.

It is estimated that 90% of people with this condition live to adulthood.(1)

- Medical diagnosis required
- Laboratory tests or imaging are required
- No cure available, however, treatment can help manage symptoms
- Chronic: May last for a lifetime

The spinal cord and the meninges may protrude through the child’s back. There are three most common forms of spina bifida; they are spina bifida occulta, meningocele, and myelomeningocele.


- Exposed spinal cord
- Orthopedic deformities
- Fluid buildup in the skull that leads to swelling
- Structural defects in the brain, which affects overall functioning
- Problems in leg, bladder, and bowel function
- Partial or complete paralysis of legs


Mothers should take a folic acid supplement before she becomes pregnant which is important in the development of red blood cells and is important for good health in general.

There is no cure for myelomeningocele. The treatment usually focuses of relieving the symptoms. The following methods can be used:

- Surgical interventions along with antibiotics can help in protection from infections like meningitis.
- A shunt maybe inserted that drains extra liquid around the brain and reduces pressure.
- The child may need to wear braces that support the legs or main part of the body.
- A catheter may help in dealing with bladder control.

Myelomeningocele is a chronic disorder that requires regular interventions throughout life. Effective medication and therapeutic techniques can help manage the symptoms and improve longevity. At mfine, we provide a holistic approach to healthcare. Feel free to contact us regarding any guidance for all your medical issues.

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