Arizona State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Chicana and Chicano StudiesLatino Health Issues

Three Types of Spina Bifida



There are 3 types of Spina Bifida that are common.

*But take into consideration that each case is different and no information should be substituted for medical advice.

The first type of Spina Bifida is the least severe of the three and is known as Occulta.This form of Spina Bifida is defined as hidden because the spinal cord and nerves are usually normal and there is no opening on the newborn's back. It can be diagnosed at any age and may not cause any disturbances of spinal functioning.

The second type of Spina Bifida is Meningocele. In this form of the defect the protective coating, known as the meninges, come through the open part of the spine, like a sac. Cerebral spinal fluid is inside of the sac and there is usually no nerve damage. Some minor disabilities may occur and new problems may develop later in life. This form may be repaired surgically without paralysis occurring.

- The third and most severe form of Spina Bifida is Myelomeningcele. This occurs when the meninges (protective covering of the spinal cord) and spinal nerves are exposed and come through the open part of the spine. This particular type causes nerve damage and the most severe disabilities, like paralysis, and other complications like hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain). When hydrocephalus occurs, a shunt is usually put into place to drain the fluid into the stomach and other parts of the body


Accessibility | Privacy | ASU Disclaimer This site was created by Erika Paulus in fulfillment of requirements for the course CSS 335: Latino Health Issues taught by Dr. Szkupinski Quiroga at Arizona State University, Spring 2005.