Spina Bifida

Spina Bifida Clinic

(757) 668-9021

CHKD's spina bifida clinic is a multi-disciplinary program for children and youth ages birth to 21 with abnormalities of the spine. At our spina bifida clinic, families can see all specialists, complete testing and receive a variety of services during one appointment.

Conditions We Treat

Spina Bifida Clinic

Clinic meets on the second Monday of every month, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., on the 5th floor of the hospital at 601 Children's Lane in Norfolk. 

On the day of clinic, please bring the following: insurance cards, all braces and splints, extra continence supplies and a list of all medications and dosages. 

Some patients may be scheduled for diagnostic testing in the radiology department the morning of the clinic. Children with spina bifida may be referred for any of the following tests: CT Scan, MRI, ultrasound, urodynamic study and/or VCUG.

Support and Education

Within CHKD

Sib Shops at CHKD for brothers and sisters of children with special needs
Gail Cervarich, LCSW
(757) 668-7646

External Support

Spina Bifida Central 
Family Voices
Spina Bifida Association of the Mid-Atlantic Region
Spina Bifida Connection (online support group)


The Families and Advocates Partnership for Education (FAPE)
Virginia Dept. of Education: A Parent's Guide to Special Education
Wright's Law

Additional Resources

VP Shunt (ventriculoperitoneal shunt) Malfunctions 

In hydrocephalus, the ventricles of the brain become enlarged with fluid of the brain and spinal cord (cerebrospinal fluid). This condition causes the brain tissue to press against the skull, causing serious nervous system (neurological) problems. 

Surgical procedures of shunts allows the excess fluid to drain and relieve the pressure in the brain into the abdominal cavity. If these shunts malfunction, children must receive emergency medical attention.  

Symptoms of shunt malfunctionSymptoms can vary from person to person but the most common are:

  • Headaches 
  • Vomiting 
  • Unusual irritability 
  • Excessive sleepiness 
  • Neck pain 
  • Increased head size (infants)  

Bowel management issues

Urological management issues

Latex Allergy in products in the hospital and home environments

Transitioning to Adulthood

The following resources and agencies can assist spina bifida patients with the transition to adulthood and adult care providers. 

The Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services
Norfolk Office
 861 Glenrock Road, Suite 202
Norfolk, VA 23502
(757) 455-0831 

Office Endependence Center Inc - Center for Independent Living
6300 East Virginia Beach Blvd.
Norfolk, VA 23502-2827
Phone:(757) 461-8007
Voice (757) 461-7527 TDD 

National Center on Secondary Education and Transition
 Phone: (612) 624-2097

Insurance and Referral Information

If you have an HMO, you must: 

  • Get a referral from your child's primary care physician before you call to make an appointment.
  • Make sure that your referral has not expired. Many are good for only 30 days, so check yours before you come to your appointment. If your referral has expired, call your primary care physician and explain your situation. In most cases, your primary care physician will provide a new or extended referral.
  • Bring the referral with you to the appointment. If you do not have a referral, or if the referral you have is expired, your HMO will not pay for your appointment.

We offer in-depth information about insurance in our billing and insurance section

Spina Bifida Clinic Location
(757) 668-9021

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