Living with Spina Bifida

Living With Spina Bifida

If you’re living with spina bifida or you have a loved one who was recently diagnosed with this condition, you may have a lot of questions.

At Sommers Roth & Elmaleh, we’re spina bifida lawyers who want to ensure that everyone living with spina bifida knows as much about this condition as possible. In this article, we’ll explain:

  • What spina bifida is.
  • What we know about the causes of spina bifida.
  • What the most significant impacts of spina bifida are at each life stage.

What is spina bifida?

Spina bifida means “split spine,” and it occurs when there are issues with a baby’s neural tube development during the first trimester of pregnancy. The neural tube either does not develop properly or does not close properly, resulting in a lesion on the neural tube.

How much spina bifida impacts a person depends on two main factors:

  • The size of the lesion.
  • The location of the lesion on the spine.

Spina bifida impacts how well someone who has it can move.

What is known about the causes of spina bifida?

This is a very challenging question to answer. There is no specific cause or issue that doctors and scientists are aware of that will directly cause spina bifida.

Instead, scientists and doctors believe that spina bifida occurs due to a variety of different genetic and environmental factors present very early in a woman’s pregnancy (generally, by the fourth week).

Women planning to have children are encouraged to ensure they get enough folic acid in their system before becoming pregnant, as this can help prevent neural tube defects, including spina bifida.

What are the most significant impacts of spina bifida at each life stage?

Spina bifida impacts each person differently, depending on what stage of life they are at. Next, we’ll talk about 4 phases of life and how spina bifida affects them.

1. Expectant and new parents

If you’ve just been told that the child you’re expecting or was recently born has spina bifida, then you may feel overwhelmed and unsure what to do. The best thing you can do at this stage is to find out as much information as you can from trusted experts.

Also, try to connect with other expectant or new parents who are in the same situation. The more you learn about babies with spina bifida, the more comfortable you will be with the situation.

There are options for surgery, either before your child is born or within a few days afterward to help fix the spinal cord defect. Talk to your doctor or a specialist to learn more about what this involves.

2. Infants and children

One of the biggest impacts spina bifida has on infants and children is that it can cause challenges with their mobility. The higher up the spina bifida lesion is, the more it can affect a person’s mobility.

There are many options for infants and children to become mobile, including braces, crutches, walkers, and wheelchairs.

The key is for your infant or child to be as active as possible as early as possible. Your doctor can provide treatment for movement issues and recommend a physical therapist who will give you instructions on how to help your child increase their strength and flexibility.

3. Teenagers and young adults

For teenagers and young adults, life is a time of exploration and trying new things. And while no one should miss out on new experiences, you do have to be more cautious when you have spina bifida.

The critical thing to remember is that you are entitled to independence and more freedom than you had as a child, but you are also still responsible for taking good care of yourself. Spina bifida doesn’t have to hold you back, but you do need to take the appropriate precautions, especially when it comes to sticking with medical care.

4. Adults

You’re all grown up now, so you’ll have to take the lead when it comes to your health care. There’s much to think about when you’re an adult with spina bifida, from finding housing that works for you to looking for a job that suits you and can accommodate your needs.

Be sure to get all of your medical records from your childhood doctors. Also, look for ways to make connections with others, whether through activities, hobbies, or volunteer work.

Why would I want to contact a spina bifida lawyer?

The main reason you would want to contact a spina bifida lawyer is if you feel that there was medical negligence surrounding the detection of your spina bifida or that of a loved one.

With spina bifida, early detection can make a world of difference. Spina bifida is clearly identifiable on a baby’s spine, and when surgery is performed either before birth or after, it dramatically decreases any medical issues associated with spina bifida.

As spina bifida lawyers, we can help you with a lawsuit that will enable you to receive compensation for yourself or your family. Due to our experience as spina bifida lawyers, we can walk you through the entire process and let you know everything you or your family could be eligible for, including compensation for modifications to your home and private medical care.

We have extensive experience as spina bifida lawyers, and have been helping our clients win significant awards for over 40 years.

The Takeaway

We’ve covered the following:

  • That spina bifida occurs due to a neural tube defect.
  • That there are no specific known causes of spina bifida.
  • How spina bifida impacts a person at different stages of life.

If you have concerns that you or a loved one’s spina bifida was not detected or not treated properly, we can help you in our role as spina bifida lawyers. As your spina bifida lawyer, we can file a lawsuit to get you the compensation you’re entitled to.

To learn more about what a spina bifida lawyer can do for you, please call Sommers Roth & Elmaleh at 416-961-1212 or contact us online.

Jeremy M. Syrtash Jeremy is a civil litigator who specializes in medical malpractice and personal injury law, Jeremy understands the needs and concerns of his clients in order to help them navigate their complex situations. Jeremy is a passionate civil litigator who has successfully appeared before the Ontario court of justice, Ontario superior court of justice and the health professions appeal and review board. Jeremy is also a member of the law society of Ontario, Ontario bar association (oba), Ontario trial lawyers association (OTLA), the Toronto lawyers association (TLA), and the advocate’s society (tas).

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