Myelomeningocele is a birth defect in which the backbone and spinal canal do not close before birth. The condition is a type of Spina Bifida.
Normally, during the first month of a pregnancy, the two sides of the spine (or backbone) join together to cover the spinal cord, spinal nerves and meninges (the tissues covering the spinal cord). Spina bifida refers to any birth defect involving incomplete closure of the spine.
Myelomeningocele is the most common type of Spina Bifida. It is a neural tube defect in which the bones of the spine do not completely form, resulting in an incomplete spinal canal. This causes the spinal cord and meninges (the tissues covering the spinal cord) to stick out of the child's back.
Myelomeningocele may affect as many as 1 out of every 800 infants.
A newborn may have a sac sticking out of the mid to lower back. The doctor cannot see through the sac when shining a light behind it.
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Partial or complete lack of sensation
- Partial or complete paralysis of the legs
- Weakness of the hips, legs, or feet of a newborn
- Other symptoms may include:
- Abnormal feet or legs, such as clubfoot
- Build up of fluid inside the skull (hydrocephalus)
- Hair at the back part of the pelvis called the sacral area
- Dimpling of the sacral area
- Most children will require lifelong treatment for problems that result from damage to the spinal cord and spinal nerves.
- This includes:
- Gentle downward pressure over the bladder may help drain the bladder. In severe cases, drainage tubes, called catheters, may be needed. Bowel training programs and a high fiber diet may improve bowel function.
- Orthopedic or physical therapy may be needed to treat musculoskeletal symptoms. Braces may be needed for muscle and joint problems.
- Neurological losses are treated according to the type and severity of function loss.
- BENEFIT FROM PMTD:
- Facilitates detoxification of the body
- Improved absorption of nutrients and medication
- Improved neuromuscular function
- Improved overall function in daily activities (ADLs)
- Reduced Spasticity
- Improved range of motion and joint flexibility
- Improved circulation: Cardiovascular and Pulmonary
- Decreased risk for pneumonia and respiratory complications and infections.