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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 68-71

Spinal dysraphism: A challenge continued to be faced by neurosurgeons in developing countries

1 Department of Neurosurgery, Narayna Medical College Hospital, Chinthareddypalem, Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Department of Surgery, MM Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Mullana, Ambala, India

Correspondence Address:
Amit Agrawal
Department of Neurosurgery, Narayana Medical College Hospital, Chinthareddypalem, Nellore - 524 003, Andhra Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1793-5482.136713

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Objectives: The incidence of spinal dysraphism has significantly decreased over the last few decades, all over the world; however, still the incidence is much higher in developing countries with poor socioeconomic status. Materials and Methods: The present study includes all patients managed for spinal dysraphism over a period of one year (January 2011-December 2011). Details including demographics, antenatal care history, site and type of lesion, neurological examination, imaging finding, associated congenital anomalies, management offered, and outcome were recorded. Results: A total of 27 children were operated for spinal dysraphism during the study period (17 males and 11 females). Median age was 120 days (age range, 1 day to 6 years). Mothers of 15 children did not seek any regular antenatal checkup and only 13 mothers received folic acid supplementation during pregnancy. Fourteen children were delivered at home and 13 were at hospital. The most common site was lumbosacral region (67.8%). Seven patients had rupture of the sac at the time of presentation, one child had local infection, and four patients had hydrocephalus (requiring shunt before surgical repair). Two patients developed hydrocephalus at follow up, needing shunt surgery. The mean hospital stay was 7 days (range, 5 days to 31 days; median, 10 days). Conclusion: Spinal dysraphism is still a major public health problem in developing countries. Management of patients with spinal dysraphism is complex and needs close coordination between pediatrician, neurologist, neurosurgeon, and rehabilitation experts. A large number of factors influence the outcome.

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