About Meningomyelocele

MMC in Pune

Meningomyelocele (MMC) or Spina Bifida is a congenital (birth) defect where the baby's spine does not form correctly.

Affecting a large number of children, MMC causes a defect or gap in the bony arch that protects the spinal cord and its coverings.

Usually, MMC is evident as a large bulge over the lower back of the neonate at birth.

Presence of this bulge calls for urgent surgery to close the exposed neural tissue and its coverings at the earliest opportunity.

In some cases, the spinal defect is not obvious at birth. However, symptoms could show on the skin above the spinal defect as a tuft of hair, a birthmark or a dimple.

In some other types of spinal defects, the patient does not show any visible evidence on the skin surface. However at puberty, when growth spurts occurs, the patients start showing symptoms like incontinence of urine and/or stools, clawing or arching of feet and wasting of muscles in the lower limbs.

While the focus of MMC is mainly on the defects of spinal cord, the defect also affects the function of the urinary bladder and subsequently the kidneys. This results in serious health complications in the patient.

The ill effects of MMC start at birth and continue through the patient’s life to seriously impact their health in several ways. As the child grows, the symptoms may change.

MMC patients require regular monitoring, treatment and management of their symptoms for extended periods of timeAs MMC patients reach puberty, they need sexual counselling as well as social rehabilitation.