By Dr. James Wright (formerly of The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto)
Parents of children with spina bifida are overwhelmed at birth with multiple health concerns. Unfortunately those concerns never go away. The initial focus is usually on the closure of the spina bifida and the possible need for a shunt. However as those issues resolve, inevitably at some point parents want to understand how their child will function in their environment; will they walk, run, or play sports? Every child is different and we never want to extinguish hope but there are some general expectations based largely on the function of the nerves to the legs.