OHSU

About the Spina Bifida Clinic

What is Spina Bifida?

Spina bifida is a birth defect where the bones do not form properly around the spinal cord. It can happen anywhere along the spine. It usually develops during the first month of pregnancy.

Children with spina bifida can have medical issues, including:

  • Seizures
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Bowel and bladder problems
  • Hydrocephalus, excess fluid around the brain and spine
  • Natural latex rubber allergies

The CDRC provides coordinated care throughout the lifespan of the child, and offers treatment options and support for the family.  Due to advancements in medical, surgical, and rehabilitative care, the number of adults living with spina bifida is increasing.

Children who have spina bifida often need special care by an entire team of clinicians to help effectively deal with the common issues and needs of these patients.  CDRC Eugene can provide a team of experts to help treat your child, including:

  • Neurologist
  • Urologist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Physical Therapists

The Spina Bifida Clinic serves children with neural tube defects, acquired spinal cord injury and congenital defects with a similar array of problems. Some examples are:

  • myelomeningocele with hydrocephalus
  • myelomeningocele without hydrocephalus
  • meningocele
  • caudal regression syndrome
  • neurogenic bowel
  • neurogenic bladder
  • tethered spinal cord
  • paraplegia

Recommended services vary according to the child's age, diagnosis and referral concerns. The recommended initial evaluation team for a six month old infant with myelomeningocele would include developmental pediatrics, social work, nursing, physical therapy, neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery and urology.

EXPANDED OR LIMITED SERVICES

Additional evaluations beyond basic service are recommended when other issues emerge or are anticipated. Referrals for single discipline evaluations are welcome. Any of the disciplines, singly or in combination, may be consulted to address a specific issue. In their reports, staff will recommend other referrals if needed.