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Old 07-06-2017, 01:24 PM
Dr Scoliosis Dr Scoliosis is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 187
Default Re: Scoliosis Spina bifida and surgery

Dear Peta,

Thanks for your enquiry. Regarding spina bifida, there are 2 types - cystica and occulta. Cystica is the type which is associated with abnormal formation of the spinal cord and overlying tissues. The nerves are essentially "exposed to the air”. People with this condition usually have marked weakness or paralysis of the legs, along with other problems. Spina bifida occulta is a completely different and innocent situation. It refers to an x ray finding of a gap in the posterior part of one of the spinal bones - usually L5 or S1. It is found in up to 10% of people. It almost never has any associated nerve problems. So, it will have no bearing on the scoliosis, even if surgery is necessary. If the specialist is concerned, an MRI can be done to ensure that there is no other abnormality.

Regarding exercise, your daughter can keep running, or do any other sport she wishes. Her back is not weak, just curved. Running will not make it worse. Back pain is a common association with scoliosis and is usually only a nuisance. Back pain interfering with activity should be investigated by her specialist.

I hope this helps,

Dr S