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Spina Bifida Association of Delaware

Secondary Conditions Associated with Spina Bifida

Secondary Conditions Associated with SB:

Paralysis, resulting from the damage to the spinal cord. Persons with Spina Bifida need to learn mobility skills. Often with the use of crutches, braces, or wheelchairs they can achieve more independence.

Hydrocephalus is water on the brain. A large % of children with Spina Bifida are born or develop fluid on the brain, which can be controlled by a surgical procedure called shunting which relieves the fluid build up in the brain. The shunt does not cure the hydrocephalus and damage that has already been done to the brain tissues. What it does is control the pressure by draining off excess CSF (cerebral spinal fluid). Most often the shunt drains off into the abdominal cavity, a chamber of the heart, or the pleural cavity (next to the lung) where the excess fluid is absorbed by the body.

Bowel & Bladder complications: New techniques enable children to become more independent in managing their bowel & bladder problems. CIC (clean intermittnet catheterization) enables one to empty the bladder at set times of the day. Bowel programs are devised to control bowel emptying at a specific time of day.

Latex Allergy Research: Has shown that Spina Bifida patients have the potential to become allergic to Latex. Typical symptoms include watery eyes- wheezing- rash- swelling- and severe anaphylactic reaction. ANYONE WITH LATEX ALLERGY SHOULD AVOID EXPOSURE TO ALL PRODUCTS THAT CONTAIN LATEX!

Learning Disabilities: Early intervention can help considerably to prepare these children for school & early evaluations to help see the child's understanding of basic learning abilities.

Depression & Social Issues: physical disabilities like Spina Bifida can have a profound effect on the child's emotional & social development. It is important that health care professionals, teachers, & parents understand the child's physical capabilities & limitations. To promote personal growth they should encourage children to be independent, to participate in activities with their non- disabled peers, and to assume responsibility for their own care.

Additional Secondary conditions associated with Spina Bifida: Obesity, Skin break down, Gastrointestinal disorder, Tendonitis, Scoliosis, Hip and feet disorder, Fractures, Seizures, Eye problems, Early Puberty, Sexual Issues and Tethered Cord.

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