In spina bifida occulta, or hidden spina bifida, the vertebrae fail to completely enclose the spinal cord, but the rest is normal in form and is covered by the skin of the back. This form of the defect has no effect on body functions and may go undetected for life, but normal Spina Bifida congenital cleft of the vertebral column, a form of neural tube defect.
In the mildest form the only evidence of Spina Bifida is that one or two bones in the spine fail to form right, If several vertebrae are involved, the spinal cord can bulge outward, forming a ball-like mass in this region. Additional complications may result in fluid in the brain causing a variety of other mental, behavior and physical problems. (Hosick, Howard L. "Spina bifida.“)
Often times surgery is performed within twenty-four to forty-eight hours of birth to close any openings in the child’s lower back and reconstruct the spine and other tissues in the area. Problems with feet and legs may also be dealt with surgically. If there is fluid in the child’s brain it can be drained. Bladder and bowel function can be regulated, by catheterization. Eventually, prosthetic devices may be fitted to assist the child’s movement. Mental health and physical therapy experts can also help with learning disabilities, physical therapy, and emotional adjustments. (Hosick, Howard L. "Spina bifida.“)