There are many tiny openings in the vertebra of a human. If they have Spina Bifida, the meninges, which act as the protective membrane around the spinal cord, tends to push out through the vertebral openings, ultimately resulting in a sac that is filled with meningeal fluid in the baby’s back. Since this sac does not include the spinal cord, it is highly unlikely to cause any nerve damage. However, there are chances for later complications. If you are wondering about the symptoms which point to this health condition, the most notable one is a protruded sac outside of the spinal cord.


This is the most severe type of Spina Bifida and is also known as Open Spina Bifida. In this health condition, the spinal canal of the baby will be open at most of the spinal bones, especially towards the lower back and middle of the spinal cord. In addition to that, the spinal nerves, as well as the membranes of the spinal cord, tend to push out through the vertebral opening of the babies at birth, forming a sac at their back, exposing their nerves and tissues. This may result in many life-threatening infections in the future. Furthermore, there are many symptoms that indicate Myelomeningocele and some of those symptoms include the following.

  • Open spinal canal at lower and middle back
  • Exposed nerves and tissues even though the sac is covered with skin
  • Protruding nerves, spinal cord, and membrane, forming a sac-like structure

Cause and Risk Factors

Sadly, the actual cause of Spinal Bifida disorder is not yet known. It is speculated to be a result of a combination of genital and environmental risk factors. Plus, there are many factors that put some people at higher risk of Spina Bifida. It is reported that women are more vulnerable to developing this condition when compared to men. Other than gender, there are a few things which affect your chances of seeing Spina Bifida as a real problem in your body, including those listed below.

  • Folate deficiency
  • Certain medications
  • Family medicine history of neural tube defects
  • Diabetes
  • Increased body temperature
  • Obesity


Spinal Bifida may result in minor disabilities and exhibit trivial symptoms. However, in severe cases, it can result in a number of health and mental disabilities. Some of those significant complications which you must watch for are listed below.

  • Mobility and walking disabilities
  • Bowel and bladder issues
  • Hydrocephalus or accumulation of fluid in the brain
  • Orthopedic complications
  • Shunt malfunction
  • Meningitis
  • Sleep apnea or disordered breathing pattern during sleep
  • Skin problems
  • Tethered spinal cord
  • Latex allergy
Book an Appointment

    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

    To Book an Appointment

    We are standing by to assist you.

    Please call 310-706-2594