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Spinal bifida is the incomplete closure of the vertebral canal, often associated with a similar anomaly of the spinal cord. It is the most common neural tube defect, occurring in 6 per 10,000 live births.
Recent implementation of prenatal screening measures - specifically measuring the maternal alpha feto protein levels with the possibility of therapeutic abortion - has led to a decline in the incidence of this condition in Britain.
Broadly the lesions can be divided into occulta and cystica defects.