SOVEREIGN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SOVEREIGN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Spine in spina bifida. Coloured frontal X-ray of part of the spine of a patient with spina bifida. Spina bifida is a congenital (birth) defect of the spine. Here, there is a cleft in the spine (spaces at centre and lower centre), a condition known as posterior rachischisis. This cleft is due to the incomplete closure of the spine during development in the womb. It can result in damage to the spinal cord. This X-ray shows four vertebrae at the thoracic-lumbar junction of the spine, between the chest vertebrae (ribs seen at upper left and right) and the vertebrae of the lower back (bottom).
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