There are three forms of Spina Bifida:


In this usually symptomless form, there is a small defect or gap in one or more of the small bones (vertebrae) of the spine. The spinal cord and nerves usually are normal, and most affected individuals have no problems.



Meningocele (pronounced muh-NING-go-seal)
In this rarest form, a cyst or lump consisting of membranes surrounding the spinal cord pokes through the open part of the spine. The cyst, which can vary in size, can be removed by surgery, allowing for normal development.



Myelomeningocele (pronounced my-uh-low-muh-NING-go-seal)
In this most severe form, the cyst holds nerve roots of the spinal cord and often the cord itself. Or there may be no cyst, but only a fully exposed section of the spinal cord and nerves. Spinal fluid may leak out. Affected babies are at high risk of infection until the back is closed surgically, although antibiotic treatment may offer temporary protection. In spite of surgery, some degree of leg paralysis and bladder and bowel control problems remain which can be treated with daily medication.