Interdisciplinary Team Key to Assisting Patients With Spina Bifida

A presenter addressed the objectives in maximizing the ambulatory function in individuals with spina bifida by focusing on the disorder itself, fluctuating neurological status and musculoskeletal deformities that arise secondary to the muscular imbalance.

Samuel Rosenfeld, MD, CHOC Children’s Hospital, Orange, Calif., described the key to assisting these individuals is in the hands of the interdisciplinary team. The team addresses mainstreaming, developing independence, integrating within the community while providing personal development that assists the individual with spina bifida to transition into adulthood.

Many of these problems are unique to spina bifida, Rosenfeld said, which lead to specific levels of neurological involvement defined by the varying levels of spinal involvement: thoracic, high lumbar, low lumbar and sacral. Within each of these levels, there are generalities of abilities for ambulators vs. those using wheelchairs. These modes of ambulation can also be augmented with various AFOs, KAFOs, ParaWalker, and other devices based on the user’s desire, ability to successfully ambulate with these devices or other mobility aids, ie, crutches or walkers. Throughout this discussion, the overarching goal was to prevent deformity to decrease functional loss.

For more information, visit the Association for Children’s Prosthetic-Orthotic Clinics website at, call (847) 698-1637 or email

For more information:
Rosenfeld S. Paper #12.

Disclosure: Rosenfeld is a paid presenter and paid consultant for MediCrea Spine, Zimmer and Zimmer Spine.

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