What is it?

Spina bifida occulta is when malformation in the baby spine which is closed, occult. Closed spina bifida usually does not cause any symptoms, and could be diagnosed incidentally. If symptoms appear it’s usually due to a tethered cord.

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Signs & symptoms

Typically, there are no symptoms at all. Sometimes, symptoms may include foot deformity, leg weakness, bladder or bowel dysfunction and hand weakness or numbness.


Spina bifida occulta is diagnosed based upon findings from medical history and physical examination. Otherwise, it is diagnosed as an incidental finding in an X-ray or an MRI of the spine done for another reason.


If there is a situation of tethered cord, surgery is done but if there are no symptoms, no treatment is needed.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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