Spina bifida is a congenital neural tube defect that affects the spine and spinal cord, as well as the brain in many cases, with life-long health-related consequences. In most cases, the term spina bifida refers to open myelomeningocele but includes a spectrum of dysraphic conditions. Early recognition and comprehensive care improve long-term health, well-being, and quality of life and decrease the use of emergency services and hospitalizations over the lifespan. Current evidence-based care guidelines are comprehensive, but they are not easily interpreted in busy primary care settings. The development of a periodicity schedule serves to simplify the current spina bifida guidelines into a document that is easy to use by all practitioners and families.

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