Child's Nervous System

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 311–319 | Cite as

The pattern, peculiarities, and management challenges of spina bifida in a teaching hospital in Southwest Nigeria

  • Edward O. Komolafe
  • Chiazor Udochukwu OnyiaEmail author
  • Ibironke O. Ogunbameru
  • Oluwamuyiwa A. Dada
  • Oluwafemi F. Owagbemi
  • Fred S. Ige-Orhionkpaibima
  • Oluseun A. Olarewaju
  • Efosa O. Obamwonyi
  • Muhammad I. Abdullahi
Original Paper



Spina bifida is a common congenital anomaly of the nervous system. It is frequently associated with significant morbidity and sometimes mortality in affected children. In this paper, we review the clinico-epidemiological pattern, peculiarities, and therapeutic challenges of this condition in our practice setting.


This is a retrospective study of all cases of spina bifida managed from July 2000 to March 2016 at a tertiary health facility located in the southwest region of Nigeria. Relevant information was retrieved from the medical records. The data was collected using a pro forma and analyzed with SPSS version 22.


Data from 148 patients was reviewed and analyzed. There were 78 males and 70 females. Only 5.8% of these children were delivered at the health institution. A fifth (20%) of the patients were first born of their mothers. The mean maternal age was 29 years. Few (10.1%) mothers use folate medication prior to conception and only 58% of the mothers use folate during antenatal care. Mean duration of pregnancy was 38 weeks. The most common anatomical site was lumbosacral region (74.3%) while the most common pathology was myelomeningocele 80.4%. Mean age at surgery was 88.68 h. Mean duration of surgery was 92.8 min. Mean follow-up duration was 46.8 weeks. As many as 59% of the patients had some neurologic improvement noticed during follow-up clinic visits.


Spina bifida occurs frequently in our environment. Low socio-economic status and poor antenatal clinic visits contributes significantly to its occurrence.


Spinal bifida Pattern Peculiarities Challenges 



The authors thank Dr. Samuel Anu Olowookere of the Department of Community Health for helping with data analysis.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors confirm that there are no disclosures, no conflicts of interest, and no financial support.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward O. Komolafe
    • 1
    • 2
  • Chiazor Udochukwu Onyia
    • 2
    Email author
  • Ibironke O. Ogunbameru
    • 1
    • 2
  • Oluwamuyiwa A. Dada
    • 2
  • Oluwafemi F. Owagbemi
    • 2
  • Fred S. Ige-Orhionkpaibima
    • 2
  • Oluseun A. Olarewaju
    • 3
  • Efosa O. Obamwonyi
    • 4
  • Muhammad I. Abdullahi
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Surgery, Faculty of Clinical SciencesObafemi Awolowo UniversityIle-IfeNigeria
  2. 2.Neurosurgery division, Department of SurgeryObafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals’ ComplexIle-IfeNigeria
  3. 3.Department of SurgeryUniversity of Calabar Teaching HospitalCalabarNigeria
  4. 4.Department of OrthopaedicsObafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals’ ComplexIle-IfeNigeria
  5. 5.Air Force HospitalJosNigeria

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