Spina bifida (open back defect) & patient lifts

Patient lifts as an assistive device for lifting and moving people with spina bifida...

What is spina bifida (open back defect)?

An “open back”, or better known under the medical term “spina bifida”, is a congenital disorder in which one or more vertebrae do not close properly around the spinal cord. This takes place during the first three weeks of embryonic development. The condition itself can be diagnosed and detected early, but the prognosis and quality of life are difficult to predict.

There are two types of spina bifida:

  • Spina bifida occulta: hidden, less common and often diagnosed later in life.
  • Spina bifida aperta: common and usually accompanied by a fluid sac on the back (whether or not filled with spinal cord and nerves).

Implications of spina bifida

The implications of spina bifida can be of different nature. Overview of the most common:

  • Bladder, kidney and intestinal problems: often lead to appropriate nutrition, intestinal flushing and/or surgery.
  • Orthopedic problems: crooked growth of the back, malformations in the lower limbs.
  • Neurological problems: hydrocephalus, epilepsy, tethered cord.
  • Psycho-social dysfunction: high demand for care, often hospitalized ...

People with spina bifida may not have to deal with all conditions, but certainly with some of them. They have a huge influence on their daily functioning.

Children with a spina bifida will experience limitations throughout their lives. Some children have few disabilities and can manage themselves well, others have more limitations and depend on other people around them for help. In addition, almost all children with a spina bifida suffer to a greater or lesser extent from problems with urination or with their stool. The higher the spina bifida (above L3 = complete paralysis of the lower limbs), the greater the disabilities will be.

Patient lifts as an assistive device

When the lower limbs can no longer be used, assistive devices must be found for moving, to transfer and to perform daily activities ...

The advantage of the Handi-Move® lifting bar, as a moving aid, is for example that it will not cause any extra pressure on the back (with possible liquid sack). Even when the back is crooked, the lifting bar is easy and quick to use for carrying out various transfers.

Handi-Move can help you choose the appropriate lifting system.

Financial government intervention is certainly possible.

Contact your social assistant or directly your local government funds services to support disabled people.


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