Quality of Life for Spina Bifida

Thanks to huge strides in medical and surgical interventions over the past 40 years, children who are born with Spina Bifida today lead full, active and productive lives.

According to the Spina Bifida Association, approximately 90 percent of infants affected with the defect live well into adulthood. In addition, about 80 percent have normal intelligence. The majority of these children do well in school, and many are involved in  competitive sports and/or organized recreational activities. Twenty-year follow-up studies of children with Spina Bifida indicate that they go to college at the same rates as the general population, and most are actively employed. As advancements in medical care continue to expand and improve, the outlook continues to get better.

Individuals with Spina Bifida are usually able to gain independence by utilizing mobility aids such as leg braces, arm crutches and/or wheelchairs. By implementing bowel and bladder programs, including self-catheterization, the majority of individuals with Spina Bifida are able to become fully continent.

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