Caregivers Community

Living with Spina Bifida

Gina Flores
Caregiver Advocate | Shield HealthCare
10/11/11  6:50 PM PST

October is Spina Bifida Awareness Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Spina Bifida is the most common permanently disabling birth defect in the United States.

Spina Bifida is a condition that affects the spine and is usually apparent at birth. It is a type of neural tube defect (NTD). Spina Bifida can happen anywhere along the spine if the neural tube does not completely close. The backbone that protects the spinal cord does not form and close as it should, which often results in damage to the spinal cord and nerves.

Spina Bifida may cause physical and mental disabilities that range from mild to severe. The severity depends on the size and location of the opening in the spine and whether part of the spinal cord and nerves are affected. Some people have little or no noticeable disability. Others are limited in the way they move or function. With the proper medical care and support, most people affected by Spina Bifida are able to lead full and productive lives.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers free Spina Bifida education materials to support families and healthcare professionals.

Here’s an inspirational video from CDC.gov that shows people of all ages with Spina Bifida enjoying life and overcoming obstacles.

CDC Video Player. Flash Player 9 is required.CDC Video Player.Flash Player 9 is required.

Additional resources:

The Spina Bifida Association

SB Teen2Tween.org