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The Spina Bifida Program at Children’s National Hospital is a leader in caring for infants, children and teenagers with abnormalities in the spine and spinal cord. We treat all forms of spina bifida, including:

  • Spina bifida occulta (mild form of the disease)
  • Meningocele (moderate form of the disease)
  • Myelomeningocele (severe form of the disease)

Our Providers

Our pediatric specialists provide personalized care for your child’s physical, mental and emotional health needs.

Contact Information

For more information about our Spina Bifida Program, email us or call 202-476-7762.

Spina Bifida Transition Program

The Spina Bifida Transition Program at Children’s National helps teenagers and young adults, starting at age 13, get ready for the shift from receiving pediatric care to taking charge of their own healthcare as adults.

Advanced and Comprehensive Spina Bifida Care

Features of the Spina Bifida Program at Children’s National include:

  • An emphasis on early intervention. We specialize in early recognition and early treatment of spina bifida to minimize complications for newborns and children, allowing them to grow healthy into adulthood.
  • Ease of comprehensive care. We bring together physicians from many specialties, including our colleagues in Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine, so patients and families can be evaluated and advised comprehensively on the same day by all members of the care team.
  • Advancing care through research. We are always looking for ways to improve the care we offer to our patients. Children’s research team conducts research related to spina bifida and other neural tube defects in hopes of preventing future cases of the disease. 
  • Diagnostic Care Services. Ultrasound, x-ray, MRI and laboratory services are available on our main campus as well as at our Prince Georges County location. 

Our team offers many treatment options for patients with spina bifida to prevent infection and preserve the spinal cord and any exposed nerves. Treatment options include:

  • Braces and splints
  • Education for parents to help them manage their child’s condition at home
  • Medications
  • Positioning aids to help children sit, stand, and lie down
  • Rehabilitation
  • Surgery (if needed), including:
    • Bowel and bladder surgery
    • Orthopaedic surgery to treat issues such as curvatures in the spine, ankle, and foot deformities, contracted muscles and hip dislocations
    • Repair and closure of lesions on the back
    • Treatment for hydrocephalus (excessive fluid in the brain) 

We've put together a multidisciplinary team of experts to provide the best care possible for our patients, in one location. Our spina bifida team includes specialists in:

Family Resources

At Children’s National Hospital, we understand that families have many questions about their child’s condition and care. In addition to any resources your provider may give you, our online resources can also support your ongoing treatment journey.

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