Children with spina bifida can have a range of neural tube defects that affect the brain, spinal cord or meninges (protective covering around the brain and spinal cord). These defects require focused, expert care. The team of experts with the Spina Bifida Program at Riley at IU Health can help your family prepare for the birth of a child with spina bifida and can care for your child into adulthood.
The Spina Bifida Program is a multidisciplinary program that includes pediatric experts in neurosurgery, orthopedics, developmental pediatrics, physical medicine and rehabilitation and urology. When your child is born, our multidisciplinary team will evaluate him or her in the neonatal intensive care unit at Riley at IU Health.
How often your child will require follow-up care depends on his or her individual condition. Some children require care from our entire team while others only need care from some members of the program. We also provide nutritional care, social services and physical therapy if needed.
In some cases, we are able to perform prenatal evaluations that allow us to perform surgery to correct the malformations of spina bifida while your baby is still in the womb. The ability to repair spina bifida defects before birth can strongly decrease the effects of the condition.
The doctors and surgeons with the Spina Bifida Program also provide the same multidisciplinary care for patients as they transition into adulthood. This allows your child to see the doctors he or she needs to see by self-referral and by physician referrals.
The Spina Bifida Program at Riley at IU Health is one of the largest in the U.S. Our program participates in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Spina Bifida Patient Registry.
All of the care providers in our program have had specialized training in pediatric neurodevelopmental disabilities, physiatry, urology and neurosurgery. The Pediatric Neurosurgery and Urology departments at Riley at IU Health are ranked annually on the U.S. News & World Report list of best children's hospitals.
Conditions & Services
Our pediatric specialists provide patient- and family-centered care for most related conditions. The links below provide more specific information about some, but not all, of the conditions that we treat.
Program Forms & Resources
Program Forms & Resources
We have curated relevant resources from other websites and provided links with brief descriptions of the information that is available.
We provide multispecialty care for a number of conditions. Below are links to our related programs.
We provide multispecialty care for a number of conditions. Below are links to our related departments.
For Health Professionals
The Spina Bifida Program sees patients by physician referral. Patients, parents and doctors can schedule an appointment with the program by calling 317.944.6201.
In collaboration with the Indiana University School of Medicine Department of Neurological Surgery, the Spina Bifida Program offers educational opportunities for medical students interested in pediatric neurosurgery as well as residents and fellows. Neurosurgery residents spend four months on the pediatric neurosurgical service and have the opportunity to learn about the outpatient multidisciplinary management of patients with spina bifida. The IU School of Medicine Department of Neurological Surgery offers a one-year ACPNF-accredited clinical fellowship in pediatric neurosurgery. Fellows attain the depth and breadth of pediatric neurosurgical cases in preparation for independent practice and an academic career.