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Spina bifida

Spina bifida

C012/5781

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Credit

CAROL & MIKE WERNER / VISUALS UNLIMITED, INC. / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CAROL & MIKE WERNER / VISUALS UNLIMITED, INC. / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Spina bifida. Spina bifida is a birth defect involving incomplete closure of the spinal column during fetal development. In the most severe cases, part of the spinal cord protrudes from the infant's back, covered only by a thin sac. Doctors may perform corrective surgery on the infant during pregnancy by making a small incision in the mother's belly, then carefully cutting into the uterus. The spinal cord is maneuvered into place and the hole closed up.

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