Myelomenigoceles are just one of the many types of spinal dysraphism. Spinal dysraphism refers to incomplete closure of either one or more of the vertebral arches of the spine or abnormalities of the spinal cord. The lesions may be open (without skin coverage) or closed (with skin coverage). Synonyms include neural tube defect (NTD) or spina bifida. Historically the term spina bifida has been used. Technically, the term spina bifida only describes the bony defect that is not present in all types of spinal dysraphisms. Some experts feel the term should no longer be used.
Studies have shown that if all women who could become pregnant were to take a multivitamin with the B-vitamin folic acid, the risk of neural tube defects could be reduced by up to 70%. Folic acid is a water soluble B-vitamin that helps build healthy cells. Because it is water soluble, folic acid does not stay in the body for very long, so women need to take it every day to help reduce the risk of neural tube defects (NTD). Since half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned, women of childbearing age-even if they are not currently planning to get pregnant-should take 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day to reduce their risk of having a child with Spina Bifida. In addition, women who have experienced a pregnancy affected by a NTD like Spina Bifida need a larger prescription dose of 4000 (mcg) of folic acid daily when planning a pregnancy. Spina Bifida Association
- Management of Spina Bifida, Hydrocephalus and Shunts by Lynne C Kramer, MD--eMedicine Article
- Primary Closure of Open Myelomeningocele by Sarah J Gaskill, MD -- MedScape Article
- Decision Making in Primary Surgical Repair of Myelomeningoceles; TM de Chalainm MD & others; Ann Plast Surg; 1995 Sept; 35 (3): 272-8
- Living with Spina Bifida: A Guide for Families and Professionals by Adrian Sandler -- a Google eBook
- Spina Bifida Association Website
- Spina Bifida --Medline Plus
- Management of Posterior Trunk Defects; Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery; Vol 118(3):73e-83e, September 1, 2006; Mathes, David W. M.D.; Thornton, James F. M.D.; Rohrich, Rod J. M.D.