Just wanted to say that in December we finished our annual checkups following Maia's 2011 surgery to correct her lipomyelomeningocele, which was a huge success. She gave us a little scare by waiting about 6 months after JD to start walking - by about JD's fourth month of walking, when she wasn't really even trying, we were a little anxious about whether this was a sign of hard times to come. A couple months later, though, in July, she just stood up and started walking, about a dozen steps the first time she did it. When she was ready, she was ready. :-)
Any signs of further complications will likely start in her feet, so she is seeing a pediatric orthopedic doctor who specializes in spina bifida quarterly just as a precaution. Her bladder is another place symptoms of needing another surgery could occur, so she is having a bladder ultrasound at the children's hospital 2-3 times a year to monitor how her bladder and kidneys are functioning.
The result of the annual checkups though, including seeing her neurosurgeon (someday in the future we'll do another MRI, but her doctors determined no reason for it this year), is that she is completely recovered and has made remarkable process, and for the time being, is living as though she never even had the condition to begin with.
I visit a few online sites for parents who have kids with her problem, so I know how easy we have it so far. I've met a few moms online who have children around Maia's age who aren't walking well and need lots of physical therapy, or who have to be catheterized several times daily.
The monitoring is mainly because it's likely her spinal cord will tether to the scar tissue from the procedure, and that will need to be cleaned out in the future to prevent neurological damage. Probably between age 5-8 for the next surgery, which won't be as complicated as the first one, but will still require recovery time since her spinal column would be opened up again. She is spunky and stubborn and strong-willed (hmmmm wonder where she gets that from) and I know she will do just fine, whatever medical procedures come her way.