N e u r o s u r g e o n    i n    t h e    P h i l i p p i n e s











A newborn baby boy was referred for a lower back mass noted at birth. The mass was filled with fluid and had a thin covering, like a plastic bag. The baby’s legs had a “clubfoot” deformity and minimal movement. He also had a large head due to hydrocephalus (water in the brain). 

The baby’s back mass is called a myelomeningocoele, a sac containing spinal cord and fluid. This condition arises when the spinal cord did not develop properly while the baby was still in its mother’s womb. The bone over a part of the spinal cord is missing, so that the spinal cord is exposed and covered only with a thin membrane. Immediate surgery is required repair this, in order to close the skin properly and prevent infection. If the patient has both a myelomeningocoele and hydrocephalus, that condition is called Chiari II malformation. 

The baby underwent surgery to repair the back mass within 24 hours. One week later, he underwent VP shunt insertion to drain the excess fluid from his brain and into his abdomen. He will also need to be seen by other specialists (Urology, Orthopedics, Rehab Medicine) to treat the other conditions that are commonly associated with myelomeningocoeles.

 Disclaimer: The information provided here is  for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute 
for expert medical opinion on a specific patient's medical condition.
    Copyright 2010-2021 Neurosurgery.ph. All rights reserved.