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.