Lumbar region of newborn with spina bifida. This infant has a myelomeningocele, where the nerves protrude through the cleft in the spine (spina bifida literally means “cleft spine”, by the way), along with the cerebrospinal fluid. This causes permanent damage to or destruction of the neural tissue. The defect that causes the malformation of the lumbar spine often also results in deformations of the cerebral ventricles and cervical spinal cord regions, especially the Chiari II deformation.

Lumbar region of newborn with spina bifida. This infant has a myelomeningocele, where the nerves protrude through the cleft in the spine (spina bifida literally means “cleft spine”, by the way), along with the cerebrospinal fluid. This causes permanent damage to or destruction of the neural tissue. The defect that causes the malformation of the lumbar spine often also results in deformations of the cerebral ventricles and cervical spinal cord regions, especially the Chiari II deformation.

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