The Most Common Birth Defects

Spina Bifida


Spina bifida is a neural tube defect. It happens when the embryo’s neural tube, which eventually grows into the central nervous system, does not form the correct way. Basically, the neural tube does not close properly in spina bifida. Normally, it closes about a month after conception. It can be mild or very severe and has numerous forms. In occulta, the defect cannot be seen and there may be only a tiny space between the vertebrae. Individuals who have this form of spina bifida may not know they have it. In meningocele, the meninges, which are membranes that are supposed to enclose the spinal cord, bulge out through an opening in the spine, which is a fluid-filled sac. In myelomeningocele, the spinal canal gapes in several places, and the nerves from the spine bulge out in the child’s back. This is the most severe and life-threatening form of the disorder.

Continue reading to uncover a facial deformity that is quite common, but is highly treatable.

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