Understanding Your Child's Klippel-Feil Syndrome


When you are pregnant and anticipating the day your child is born, one of the last things that you could ever expect is that they would have some type of genetic disorder or condition when they are born. However, if this does happen to you and your child in the form of Klippel-Feil syndrome, you may find yourself in complete shock. To ensure that you and your baby's doctors at the infant care clinic and hospital take the best possible care of your child, get to know more about this rare condition and what you can do for your child going forward.

What Does Klippel-Feil Syndrome Entail?

Klippel-Feil syndrome is a condition in which two or more of the bones in your child's neck (the vertebrae) are fused together at birth. This means that the bones never fully developed and separated but instead are one large bone instead of separate smaller ones. What this often means is that your child will have a significantly shorter than average neck and will have a lower hairline on the back of their head.

Are There Any Complications That Occur Due To Klippel-Feil Syndrome?

Klippel-Feil syndrome can and will cause complications in your child's life. Depending on how many vertebrae are fused, how solid the bone fusions are and a variety of other genetic factors, your child may experience spinal development problems like scoliosis.

Other health issues and complications from Klippel-Feil syndrome include heart problems, respiratory or lung issues, and even genitourinary (genital and urinary system) issues. The complications arise from the effects that the spinal fusion has on the nerves that run along the vertebrae. These conditions can also occur due to the genetic abnormalities that caused the spinal fusion.

What Are The Treatment Options For Klippel-Feil Syndrome?

There are numerous treatment and management options to help your child cope with their Klippel-Feil syndrome. However, it is important to understand that there is no cure for Klippel-Feil syndrome.

It is important to get your infant regular care at an infant care clinic to look for any abnormalities in development or in their cardiovascular or respiratory system. The sooner these issues are identified, the sooner they can be treated through medication or through surgery.

Instability in the spine or constriction in the spinal cord (the bundle of nerves that run through the inside of the spine) can be addressed through spinal surgery to implant stabilizing devices and relieve pressure from the spinal cord. These surgeries may need to be performed in infancy or later in life as your child grows and develops. It is important to understand that every baby born with Klippel-Feil syndrome has symptoms and developmental issues that are unique to them, so frequent followup visits with specialists and with your infant care clinic as well as physical therapy and other treatments are important and can help ensure your child has a long and healthy life.

For more information, contact Northeast Wyoming Pediatric Associates Pc or a similar organization.


4 May 2016

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