Spina Bifida Clinic

The Children’s Minnesota Spina Bifida Clinic brings together several specialty services to meet the complex needs of patients with spina bifida. The multidisciplinary clinic provides care to patients from across the upper Midwest from infancy through young adulthood.

Care team

Children with spina bifida have complex health needs impacting many body systems. To provide the best outcome for each child, we bring together specialists from Children’s Minnesota and the surrounding community to provide care in a collaborative, team approach.


Children’s Minnesota offers a dedicated group of pediatric specialists and services to care for patients and families with spina bifida. These specialty services will be coordinated to meet the unique needs of each patient:

  • Child psychology – A child psychologist is available to assist in managing the emotional and social impact of spina bifida.
  • Developmental screening and neuropsychological evaluations – The neuropsychologist completes developmental screens to determine if and what further assistance is needed for learning.
  • Gastroenterology – The gastroenterologist assists in the treatment of constipation and neurogenic bowel.
  • Neurosurgery – The neurosurgery team repairs the spina bifida lesion (either before birth or after), follows brain imaging closely, shunt placement and revision, tethered cord repair, and provides on-going monitoring and management of neurologic health.
  • Nutrition – A dietitian provides nutrition advice to maintain a healthy weight, strength and general health.
  • Occupational therapy – Occupational therapy will work with your child to assist in developing motor skills and will also work with the team for a bowel plan.
  • Orthotics – The orthotist fabricates braces/orthotics and collaborates with a physiatrist (physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor or nurse practitioner) and therapists in determining the best orthotic for your child to improve function and/or improve neuromuscular alignment.
  • Physiatry – Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist evaluates and monitors developmental growth, neuromuscular development and need for orthotics/braces, therapies and other interventions so your child can achieve their maximal functional abilities.
  • Physical therapy – A physical therapist (PT) will focus on strengthening and stretching of lower extremities, as well as working on developmental skills such as head control, rolling, sitting, etc.
  • Urology – The urology team assists in the management of bladder control, catheterization, and monitoring of ongoing bladder health through various diagnostic tests performed at Children’s Minnesota.
  • Wound care – A nurse practitioner is available to assist with the treatment plan for wounds that may occur.

What to expect

The spina bifida clinic is located at the Children’s Minnesota St. Paul hospital. Every effort is made to coordinate your child’s appointment over a one- or two-day visit to Children’s Minnesota. This includes imaging services, medical and surgical specialists, neurodevelopmental screens, and seeing other providers necessary to best take care of your child and your family. The team will work together to create a plan for each patient.


The spina bifida clinic participates in a national research study to monitor outcomes of patients who’ve had surgery before birth (fetal-repaired patients).

Locations and contact us

Children’s Minnesota Spina Bifida Clinic – St. Paul
347 North Smith Ave.
Suite 70-301
St Paul, MN 55102
Main: 952-260-5531
Fax: 651-220-5231

Children’s Minnesota Specialty Center – Minneapolis
Suite 70 and Suite 390
2530 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Main: 952-260-5531
Fax: 651-220-5231

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