Friday, 13 December 2013

Spinal Problems in Child: A Threat During Pregnancy

Birth defects associated with the spine and brain normally occur within the first month after conception. Mothers normally have no clue there is a problem until well into the pregnancy. When no other complications are experienced, the problems may go unnoticed until after the birth of the child.

Defects of the spine and central nervous system can result from a variety of issues. One of the most prominent is folic acid deficiency. Congenital defects are the result of inherited traits passed down from one or both parents to the child. While congenital defects can't be prevented, the use of a well-balanced multivitamin and proper diet can reduce the risk of defects caused by folic acid or other nutritional deficiencies.

Types of spinal abnormalities that develop during pregnancy include:

·         Spina bifida occurs when the base of the spine does not close properly as the fetus grows. Surgery can close the opening after the child is born but the risk of paralysis remains until the child matures sufficiently to allow adequate healing.

·         Scoliosis/kyphosis is a curvature or twisting of the spine. An infant's spine is normally curved like a half moon but infants can display the traits of scoliosis and kyphosis shortly after birth.

·         Various other neural tube defects include anencephaly. Infants born with anencephaly are generally still born or die within a few hours of their birth. With this defect, the brain and skull do not develop completely or form abnormally.

·         Chiari malformation is a condition in which brain tissue protrudes out beneath the skull and enters the spinal column.