Spina bifida is a condition that occurs during fetal development when the neural tube that runs along the spine fails to fully develop and close properly, which may result in the spinal cord and spinal nerves being injured. Babies born with spina bifida can experience lifelong physical and intellectual disabilities which may be anywhere from minor to severe. The condition occurs in three forms, including myelomeningocele, meningocele and spina bifida occulta. The latter of these is the least serious form and is occasionally referred to as “hidden spina bifida” because it doesn’t cause an opening to form in the child’s back. By contrast, a myelomeningocele is the most severe form of the condition, where a portion of the spinal cord and nerves extend into a sac-like opening in the baby’s back. A meningocele is similar to a myelomeningocele but with only fluid being contained in the sac and the spinal cord remaining where it should be. This means that cord damage is typically minimal and without long-term physical impacts.