Spina bifida is a birth defect that happens when a baby’s backbone (spine) doesn’t form like it should. The spinal cord (a bundle of nerves that runs down the center of the spine) and the nerves that branch out of it may be damaged. "Spina bifida" is Latin for "split spine." The effects can vary based on how severe the condition is and how much it damages the nerves of the spinal cord. At Nemours, we can provide expert surgical treatment for spina bifida. And our specialists are here to help give babies like yours the best chance at a healthy future.