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November 4, 1974

Practical Management of Meningomyelocele

JAMA. 1974;230(5):753-754. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240050073038

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


Modern medicine permits treatment and survival of many children born with a frightening sac of fluid protruding from the spine. A number of volumes on treatment of these conditions has recently appeared; this is one of the best.

The editor, director of the Birth Defects Center at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, wrote the chapters on terminology, epidemiology, embryology and pathogenesis, neurological examination, ethical decisions, psychosocial aspects, and perspectives in the care of these patients. His remarks and opinions are directed at the nonspecialist who must be the intermediary between the bewildered and upset family and the group of specialists whose teamwork is responsible for the future of the child.

The neurosurgical aspects of meningocele and the almost invariably concomitant hydrocephalus are well presented by Laws, while Udvarhelyi deals with the variety of milder forms of dysraphism, from skin dimple to intraspinal lipoma. There are unusually clear chapters on orthopedics (Kopitz),