Spinal disc herniation in newborn babies is a congenital anomaly, because of which one or several vertebrae during the process of their development do not close in the area of neural spines, as a result there is an interspace, into which spinal cord and its capsules fall. The most often cases of this disease occurs in the lower back, but in some cases we can see it in other departments of spine. The severity of the disease is defined by the size of nervous tissues which do not have proper shielding.
This disc herniation can be found in the embryo with the help of Fetal Ultrasound, so fetal testing of this disease is possible.
Why does the spinal disc herniation occur in newborn babies?
Now nobody can name a real cause of development of this disease , but there is common opinion that the most important factor in this case is vitamin starvation.
That’s exactly why doctors always recommend before impregnation and during early terms of pregnancy to take folic acid. If you follow this recommendation then the risk of development of such defects is minimum possible.
An additional point is that, this disease is congenital, but at that not a genetic disease. There is such judgement that if a woman has delivered a baby with such defect, there is a possibility that her other pregnancies will have the same anomaly. But as a matter of actual practice, if a pregnant woman starts to take care about her organism in order to get all necessary vitamins and minerals for normal development of the baby, then occurrence of this defect is almost eliminated. So, the spinal disc herniation in newborn babies can be a problem only in one particular case when there is lack of vitamins and minerals and during next pregnancies it may be avoided.
Which types of split cord malformation exist?
We can distinguish between two main types of split cord malformation — a split cord malformation with herniation and a concealed one.
Concealed split cord malformation is the most widely spread defect; it is considered to be a light form of the disease. In this case the shape of only one vertebra is slightly changed. The majority of people having this type of the disease do not have any problems and they do not notice any problems or symptoms of this disease; there is only some deepening under the affected area of the spine.
Split cord malformation with herniation is considered to be a serious form of the disease, because the defects of the vertebrae are much more serious. The most noticeable symptom of this disease presence is the disc herniation, in which there are membranes and the spinal cord, and also cerebrospinal fluid. But very often it may happen that nerve roots are not damaged and they are normally functioning. The situation is more serious when in the herniation there is not only the spine cord and its membranes, but also nerve roots and columns. In this case a newborn baby has a number of serious motor and sensibility disturbances.
What are the symptoms of this disease?
As we have already mentioned, under the concealed split cord malformation, symptoms are not revealed practically. And split cord malformation with herniation manifests itself very seriously, there are the following symptoms:
- Leg defects and incorrect position of legs;
- Full or partial paralyses with sensory anesthesia;
- Almost always herniation and hydrocephaly are revealed at the same time. If this disease is not treated it will lead to serious disturbances in the brain functioning in its advanced form;
- Practically always there are problems in the urinary bladder up to its paralysis, and in the result of this there is involuntary urination, fast spread of infection and destruction of kidneys. Very often anus and straight intestine are also paralyzed.
Is it possible to treat this disease?
Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to treat this disease. It is the very case, when you have to take care beforehand in order to prevent this disease, because it is almost impossible to cure patients with this disease in the full meaning of this word.
In general, a patient with such disease is usually under constant control of the doctor, it is especially important for children which except herniation have hydrocephaly. In order to cope with problems with urinary bladder there used some hygienic means of nursing and a number of urological procedures. Some special diet is recommended in order to cope with chronic constipation, which is the result of disturbances in straight intestine functioning. This diet suggests consumption of big quantity of crude vegetable fiber.
Some physiotherapeutical prosedures help to restore partially motor functions thanks to these procedures ill children can become entirely independent. Otherwise an invalid chair will be necessary.