Baffling Pediatric Case: Infant’s 10cm ‘Tail’ Demonstrates Daily Growth at 7 Months

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Baby boy Xiao Wei was born with spina bifida, a neural tube defect in which the patient’s bone spurs are open or the spine is not completely closed. The spinal cord is an extremely important part, responsible for connecting all parts of the body with the brain. The exact cause of the disease is currently unknown, but lack of folic acid before and after pregnancy is believed to be one of the factors causing this disease.

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The boy’s mother, Ms. Chen Wei, from Guangdong, China, said she had repeatedly asked the surgeon to remove the “tail” but experts said it could not be done at this time.

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Ms. Chen said: “We asked the hospital to perform surgery to remove the “tail” but they said it was not simple.”

Spina bifida is often an independent birth defect. Although scientists believe that genetic and environmental factors may contribute to the disease, 95% of babies with spina bifida are born into families with no history of the disorder.

There are many forms of spina bifida, but Xiao has the most severe form, myelomeningocele, in which part of the spinal cord itself protrudes backward to form a hernia in the back. According to estimates, 1 in every 1,000 British children has this defect.

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In some cases, the sacs are covered with skin; In other cases, tissue and nerves are exposed, susceptible to fatal infection.

In most cases, surgery can be a temporary measure to resolve the defect, but surgery can easily leave serious consequences in the nervous system such as paralysis, incontinence when defecating, urination.

Surgeon Huang Chuanping, who directly monitors Xiao, said: “Xiao is growing quite well and there are also some measures for the 10cm tail. However, if we cut it it will continue to grow. Spinal canal intervention is a long-term measure to prevent the recurrence of the disease.”

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