S
Name Spina Bifida
Related to/Also known as Spinal Dysraphism
Hydrocephalus
Symptoms Spina Bifida (split spine) is a fault in the spinal column, in which one or more of the vertebrae fail to form properly, thereby leaving a gap. It occurs early in pregnancy and is therefore present at birth.
Types

Spina Bifida Occulta is a very mild form, which may only be evident as dimpling of the skin or a hairy patch.

Spina Bifida Cystica is a form where a sac or cyst is visible on the back. If the sac contains nerves and part of the spinal cord, it is known as a Myelomeningocele and will result in some degree of paralysis and disability. If it contains tissue and cerebro-spinal fluid, it is called a Meningocoele and is unlikely to cause disability.

Hydrocephalus is a build-up of C.S.F. (cerebro-spinal fluid) in the brain, and many people with Spina Bifida have Hydrocephalus.
See Hydrocephalus for more information.

Useful national contacts

Shine 
Link opens in new window www.shinecharity.org.uk
Helpline: 01733 555988
Find your local association or support group:
Link opens in new window www.shinecharity.org.uk/regionalteams


Scottish Spina Bifida Association
Link opens in new window www.ssba.org.uk

Online resources Spina bifida (NHS Choices)
Link opens in new window www.nhs.uk/conditions/spina-bifida/pages/introduction.aspx
Spina bifida (Contact A Family)
Link opens in new window www.cafamily.org.uk/medical-information/conditions/s/spina-bifida/?page=3
Our resources The library at The Brain Charity has a range of reference resources on this condition and on a wide range of disability-related issues.