European Spine Journal

, Volume 24, Issue 5, pp 905–918 | Cite as

Incidence of traumatic spinal cord injury worldwide: a systematic review

  • Seyed Behzad Jazayeri
  • Sara Beygi
  • Farhad Shokraneh
  • Ellen Merete Hagen
  • Vafa Rahimi-MovagharEmail author
Review Article



Traumatic spinal cord injuries (TSCI) are among the most devastating conditions in developed and developing countries, which can be prevented. The situation of TSCI around the world is not well understood which complicates the preventive policy decision making in fight against TSCI. This study was aimed to gather the available information about incidence of TSCI around the world.


A systematic search strategy was designed and run in Medline and EMBASE, along with extensive grey literature search, personal communications, website searching, and reference checking of related papers.


Overall, 133 resources including 101 papers, 17 trauma registries, 6 conference proceedings, 5 books, 2 theses and 2 personal communication data were retrieved. Data were found for 41 individual countries. The incidence of TSCI ranges from 3.6 to 195.4 patients per million around the world. Australia, Canada, US, and high-income European countries have various valuable reports of TSCI, while African and Asian countries lack the appropriate epidemiologic data on TSCI.


Data of epidemiologic information in TSCI are available for 41 countries of the world, which are mostly European and high-income countries. Researches and efforts should be made to gather information in developing and low-income countries to plan appropriate cost-effective preventive strategies in fight against TSCI.


Traumatic spinal cord injury Incidence World Epidemiology 



In addition to the list in Appendix of websites/organisations/people that helped us retrieving unpublished data, we would like to thank the authors of included papers in this publication as well as the following researchers: Dr. Walter Mauritz, who kindly shared his knowledge of TSCI data in Austria. Topsy Neher Smally, a Research Librarian at Santa Cruz, CA 95065 USA: She provided the full texts of two papers which were not accessible to us, and also she provided the extracted data of a Russian paper by contacting B. B. Lee (Spinal Medicine Department, Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia).

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seyed Behzad Jazayeri
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sara Beygi
    • 1
  • Farhad Shokraneh
    • 3
  • Ellen Merete Hagen
    • 4
    • 5
  • Vafa Rahimi-Movaghar
    • 1
    • 6
    Email author
  1. 1.Sina Trauma and Surgery Research CenterTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Students’ Scientific Research CenterTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  3. 3.Institute of Mental Health BuildingUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK
  4. 4.Department of NeurologyHaukeland University HospitalBergenNorway
  5. 5.Department of Clinical MedicineUniversity of BergenBergenNorway
  6. 6.Research Centre for Neural RepairUniversity of TehranTehranIran

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