Living With SB
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Every year, approximately 1,500 babies are born with Spina Bifida in the U.S.
Spina Bifida is one of the most common, permanently disabling birth defects in America. It occurs when the neural tube, which forms the spinal cord and vertebral column, does not close completely during the first several weeks after conception.
The effects of Spina Bifida are different for every person. The spectrum of the disability ranges from mild to severe. The more severe types generally result in partial or complete paralysis of the parts of the body below the spinal opening. Many surgeries are often needed. In addition, up to 90% of children with the most severe form of Spina Bifida (myelomeningocele) have hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain) and must have surgery to insert a “shunt” to drain the fluid.
Other conditions may include:
Full or partial paralysis
Lack of skin sensation
Social and sexual issues
Fortunately, with new medical treatments, education, and community support, most people born with Spina Bifida can expect to live a full and productive life. Today, well over ninety percent of the babies born with spina bifida can be expected to reach adulthood.