Spina bifida is a congenital condition (meaning it is present at birth) that involves the incomplete development of the spinal cord or its coverings. Nemours’ spina bifida experts are uniquely prepared to treat the medical challenges of the condition while giving children the tools they need to grow into active, independent adults.
The term spina bifida comes from Latin and literally means "split" or "open" spine. Though the cause is unknown, the spine’s failure to close properly happens during the first month of pregnancy.
A child born with spina bifida (also called myelomeningocele), or the related disorder lipomeningocele (when the “open” spine is covered over by an area of fatty tissue), often has some sort of damage to the nerves of the spinal cord. The extent of this damage can vary widely, but may include paralysis in the lower extremities and loss of bowel and bladder control. Children with spina bifida may also have hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain), and some may also experience attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or other learning difficulties.
For Appointments: (407) 650-7715
Hours: Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
If you’ve made an appointment, please be sure to bring along the following items to help us check you in as efficiently as possible:
- photo ID
- medical and pharmacy insurance cards
- preferred pharmacy name and phone number
- names and dosage of all medications, including over-the-counter medication, your child is currently taking
- guardianship and custody papers, if a legal guardian rather than a parent accompanies your child
- any forms required for school, camp, sports, etc.
- a list of prior immunizations
Bring these forms for your first appointment:
Spina bifida care at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando is like no other in Central Florida. That’s because our pediatric spina bifida experts (surgeons, specialists, behavioral health experts, therapists, nurses and social workers) work together across departments to provide your family with the best coordinated care possible, all under the same roof.
Our top priority is to give your child independence and confidence for a happy, healthy future.
Spina Bifida Specialists at Nemours Children's Hospital Treat Your Child as Our Own
At our Spina Bifida Center of Excellence (SB Center) at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando, we offer care like no other provider in Central Florida. That’s because our pediatric spina bifida experts (surgeons, specialists, behavioral health experts, therapists, nurses and social workers) work together across departments to provide your family with the best coordinated care possible, all under the same roof at the SB Center.
Additionally, we’ve listened to parents of children with spina bifida and have used that information to create an environment for families that is as convenient, efficient and stress-free as possible. In the SB Center, you’ll also find an educational video series with online resources for your family and any other caregivers as well as your child.
To give your child the best care possible, the specialists at the SB Center are closely supported by on-site resources, including:
Support Services Mean So Much
We understand coming to a hospital when your child has spina bifida can be overwhelming, so we’ve designed our spaces and our care with the needs of families in mind. We do all we can to make your child and your family comfortable by offering:
- animal-assisted activities
- Child Life specialists
- expressive arts program
- social work
- temporary housing on-site at Ronald McDonald House in Orlando
At the SB Center, our top priority is to give your child independence and confidence for a happy, healthy future.
A Hospital Designed by Families, for Families
At Nemours Children’s Hospital, family-centered care is at the heart of everything we do. In fact, families helped shape the unique amenities and convenient services that make our hospital like no other in the region.
If your child needs to stay overnight, you’ll feel right at home in our patient's rooms designed with input from families who know what it’s like to have a child in the hospital.
Our large, comfortable, single-patient rooms have sleeping accommodations for two parents, a private bathroom, wireless Internet access, connections for DVD players and game systems and two flat-screen TVs.
Other in-room features include:
- full floor-to-ceiling windows for natural light
- refrigerator for family meals and snacks
- wardrobe storage for personal items and a hotel-style safe
- GetWellNetwork interactive television (uniquely based on your child’s age, medical condition and more) allows your child to watch TV, surf the Web, check email, play music and games, and learn about your Nemours health care team
Our “hospital within a garden” setting features many places for you and your family to go for fresh air and relaxation, including a one-acre interactive sensory discovery garden or one of our rooftop gardens on the second and fourth floors.
We have many more comforts and amenities such as:
- complimentary valet and parking
- kid-friendly commons areas for siblings
- café and coffee shop
- nondenominational chapel
If your child needs medical imaging, we offer some of the area’s most advanced pediatric radiology services here at Nemours Children’s Hospital.
Our unique services include:
- interventional radiology: Our team of experts uses image guidance to diagnose and treat diseases and tumors throughout the body. Certain conditions that previously required open surgery can now be treated by Nemours pediatric interventional radiologists. Nemours also offers the only dual-trained pediatric diagnostic and interventional radiologists in the state, including those based at Nemours Children's Hospital.
- neuroradiological or cardiovascular imaging, and fetal MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): Our subspecialty-trained pediatric radiologists see children with complex conditions who require this highly specialized imaging.
- Central Florida’s only 256-slice Brilliance iCT Scanner: We are one of only a handful of children’s hospitals in the country to have this latest generation CAT (or CT) scanner that scans faster than most machines and produces excellent images in a much shorter time with much less radiation exposure for the child.
Our team of board-certified pediatric radiologists and pediatric radiologic technologists are experts in the safe medical imaging of children of every age, even newborns.
We have also pledged our commitment to the “Image Gently” campaign of the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging, which is increasing awareness of the opportunities to promote radiation protection in the imaging of children.