DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Myelomeningocele repair surgery. Close-up of a surgeon operating to repair a spina bifida defect in a neonate (newborn baby). This is a myelomeningocele, the most severe form. The condition arises from the incomplete closure of the neural tube during embryonic development, preventing the bones of the spine fusing properly. If the gap in the vertebral column is large enough, part of the spinal cord and its surrounding membranes (meninges) can protrude outwards. The resulting sac (centre) is known as a myelomeningocele. It can cause paralysis in areas below the defect. Treatment involves surgery to correct and repair the defect.
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