• Hyun-Yoon Ko


Most epidemiological data on incidence and prevalence provide an extrapolation based on the numbers collected in some clinical centers or based on assumptions about the mean life expectancy of individuals after spinal cord injury. There is also insufficient information whether patients with cauda equina or conus medullaris lesions are classified as spinal cord injury and included in the epidemiological data analysis or not. Most of the epidemiological data describe spinal cord injury due to traumatic injuries. However, it is necessary to include nontraumatic spinal cord injuries with increasing aging population.


  1. Cao Y, Massaro JF, Krause JS, et al. Suicide mortality after spinal cord injury in the United States: injury cohorts analysis. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2013;95:230–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Chen Y, Tang Y, Allen V, et al. Aging and spinal cord injury: external causes of injury and implications for prevention. Top Spinal Cord Inj Rehabil. 2015;21:218–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chen Y, Tang Y, Vogel LC, et al. Causes of spinal cord injury. Top Spinal Cord Inj Rehabil. 2013;19:1–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cripps RA, Lee BB, Wing P, et al. A global map for traumatic spinal cord injury epidemiology: towards a living data repository for injury prevention. Spinal Cord. 2011;49:493–501.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Curt A, Van Hedel HJ, Klaus D, et al. Recovery from a spinal cord injury: significance of compensation, neural plasticity, and repair. J Neurotrauma. 2008;25:677–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. DeVivo MJ. Epidemiology of traumatic spinal cord injury: trends and future implications. Spinal Cord. 2012;50:365–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. DeVivo MJ, Vogel LC. Epidemiology of spinal cord injury in children and adolescents. J Spinal Cord Med. 2004;27(Suppl 1):S4–S10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. DeVivo MJ, Chen Y. Trends in new injuries, prevalent cases and aging with spinal cord injury. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2011;92:332–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dietz V, Curt A. Neurological aspects of spinal-cord repair: promises and challenges. Lancet Neurol. 2006;5:688–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Frankel HL, Hancock DO, Hyslop G, et al. The value of postural reduction in the initial management of closed injuries on the spine with paraplegia and tetraplegia. Paraplegia. 1969;7:179–92.Google Scholar
  11. Geisler FH, Coleman WP, Grieco G, et al. Measurements and recovery patterns in a multi center study of acute spinal cord injury. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2001;26(24 Suppl):S68–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hussey RW, Stauffer ES. Spinal cord injury: requirements for ambulation. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1973;54(December):544–7.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Jackson AB, Dijkers M, DeVivo MJ, et al. A demographic profile of new traumatic spinal cord injuries: change and stability over 30 years. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2004;85:1740–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Jacob W, Wirz M, van Hedel HJ, et al. Difficulty of elderly SCI subjects to translate motor recovery-“body function” into daily living activities. J Neurotrauma. 2009;26:2037–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jain NB, Ayers GD, Peterson EN, et al. Traumatic spinal cord injury in the United States, 1993–2012. JAMA. 2015;313:2236–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kirshblum SC, O’Connor KC. Levels of spinal cord injury and predictors for neurologic recovery. Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am. 2000;11:1–27. viiCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kirshblum S, Millis S, McKinley W, et al. Late neurologic recovery after traumatic spinal cord injury. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2004;85:1811–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kirshblum S, Botticello A, Lammertse DP, et al. The impact of sacral sensory sparing in motor complete spinal cord injury. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2011;92:376–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kramer JL, Lammertse DP, Schubert M, et al. Relationship between motor recovery and independence after sensorimotor-complete cervical spinal cord injury. Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2012;26:1064–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lee BB, Cripps RA, Fitzharris M, et al. The global map for traumatic spinal cord injury epidemiology: update 2011, global incidence rate. Spinal Cord. 2014;52:110–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lenehan B, Street J, Kwon BK, et al. The epidemiology of traumatic spinal cord injury in British Columbia, Canada. Spine (Phila Pa). 2012;1976(37):321–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lidal IB, Huynh TK, Biering-Sørensen F. Return to work following spinal cord injury: a review. Disabil Rehabil. 2007;29:1341–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Marino RJ, Ditunno JF Jr, Donovan WH, et al. Neurological recovery after traumatic spinal cord injury: data from the model spinal cord injury systems. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1999;80:1391–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Marino RJ, Burns S, Graves DE, et al. Upper- and lower-extremity motor recovery after traumatic cervical spinal cord injury: an update from the national spinal cord injury database. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2011;92:369–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. McCullumsmith CB, Kalpakjian CZ, Richards JS, et al. Novel risk factors associated with current suicidal ideation and lifetime suicide attempts in individuals with spinal cord injury. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2015;96:799–808.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. McKinley W, Santos K, Meade M, et al. Incidence and outcomes of spinal cord injury clinical syndromes. J Spinal Cord Med. 2007;30:215–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Middleton JW, Dayton A, Walsh J, et al. Life expectancy after spinal cord injury: a 50-year study. Spinal Cord. 2012;50:803–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Nahm LS, Chen Y, DeVivo MJ, et al. Bladder cancer mortality after spinal cord injury over 4 decades. J Urol. 2015;193:1923–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC). The 2017 annual statistical report for the spinal cord model systems. Birmingham: NSCISC; 2018a.Google Scholar
  30. National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC). Spinal cord injury facts and figures at a glance, 2018 SCI data sheet. Birmingham: NSCISC; 2018b.Google Scholar
  31. New PW, Rawicki HB, Bailey MJ. Nontraumatic spinal cord injury: demographic characteristics and complications. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2002;83:996–1001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. New PW, Sundararajan V. Incidence of non-traumatic spinal cord injury in Victoria, Australia: a population-based study and literature review. Spinal Cord. 2008;46:406–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. New PW, Simmonds F, Stevermuer T. A population-based study comparing traumatic spinal cord injury and non-traumatic spinal cord injury using a national rehabilitation database. Spinal Cord. 2011;49:397–403.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. New PW, Frry A, Baxter D, et al. Prevalence of non-traumatic spinal cord injury in Victoria, Australia. Spinal Cord. 2013;51:99–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. New PW, Cripps RA, Bonne Lee B. Global maps of non-traumatic spinal cord injury epidemiology: towards a loving data repository. Spinal Cord. 2014;52:97–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Nijendijk JH, Post MW, van Asbeck FW. Epidemiology of traumatic spinal cord injuries in the Netherlands in 2010. Spinal Cord. 2014;52:258–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Noonan VK, Fingas M, Farry A, et al. Incidence and prevalence of spinal cord injury in Canada: a national perspective. Neuroepidemiology. 2012;38:219–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. O’Connor PJ. Prevalence of spinal cord injury in Australia. Spinal Cord. 2015;43:42–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Razdan S, Kaul RL, Motta A, et al. Prevalence and pattern of major neurological disorders in rural Kashmir (India) in 1986. Neuroepidemiology. 1994;13:113–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Scivoletto G, Di Donna V. Prediction of walking recovery after spinal cord injury. Brain Res Bull. 2009;78:43–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Shavelle RM, DeVivo MJ, Brooks JC, et al. Improvements in long-term survival after spinal cord injury? Arch J Phys Med Rehabil. 2015a;96:645–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Shavelle RM, Paculdo DR, Tran LM, et al. Mobility, continence, and life expectancy in persons with ASIA Impairment Scale Grade D spinal cord injuries. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2015b;94:180–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Singh A, Tetreault L, Kalsi-Ryan S, et al. Global prevalence and incidence of traumatic spinal cord injury. Clin Epidemiol. 2014;6:309–31.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  44. Steeves JD, Kramer JK, Fawcett JW, et al. Extent of spontaneous motor recovery after traumatic cervical sensorimotor complete spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord. 2011;49:257–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. van den Berg ME, Castellote JM, de Pedro-Cuesta J, et al. Survival after spinal cord injury: a systematic review. J Neurotrauma. 2010;27:1517–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. van Hedel HJ, Curt A. Fighting for each segment: estimating the clinical value of cervical and thoracic segments in SCI. J Neurotrauma. 2006;23:1621–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. van Middendorp JJ, Hosman AJ, Donders AR, et al. A clinical prediction rule for ambulation outcomes after traumatic spinal cord injury: a longitudinal cohort study. Lancet. 2011;377:1004–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Vogel LC, Betz RR, Milcahey MJ. Spinal cord injuries in children and adolescents. Handb Clin Neurol. 2012;109:131–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Waters RL, Adkins RH, Yakura JS. Definition of complete spinal cord injury. Paraplegia. 1991;29:573–81.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  50. Waters RL, Adkins RH, Yakura JS, et al. Motor and sensory recovery following complete tetraplegia. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1993;74:242–7.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  51. Waters RL, Adkins R, Yakura J, et al. Donal Munro lecture: functional and neurologic recovery following acute SCI. J Spinal Cord Med. 1998;21:195–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Wilson JR, Davis AM, Kulkarni AV, et al. Defining age-related differences in outcome after traumatic spinal cord injury: analysis of a combined, multi center dataset. Spine J. 2014;14:1192–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Wirth B, van Hedel HJ, Kometer B, et al. Changes in activity after a complete spinal cord injury as measured by the Spinal cord Independence Measure II (SCIM II). Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2008;22:145–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. World Health Organization (WHO). International perspectives on spinal cord injury. 2013. Accessed 17 Dec 2018.
  55. Wyndaele M, Wyndaele JJ. Incidence, prevalence and epidemiology of spinal cord injury: what learns a worldwide literature survey? Spinal Cord. 2006;44:523–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Zariffa J, Kramer JL, Fawcett JW, et al. Characterization of neurological recovery following traumatic sensorimotor complete thoracic spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord. 2011;49:463–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Suggested Reading

  1. American Spinal Injury Association. International standards for neurological classification of spinal cord injury. Revised 2011. Updated 2015th ed. Atlanta: American Spinal Injury Association; 2015.Google Scholar
  2. Buchanan LE, Nawoczenski DA, editors. Spinal cord injury-concepts and management approaches. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins; 1987.Google Scholar
  3. Chhabra HS, editor. ISCoS textbook on comprehensive management of spinal cord injuries. New Delhi: Wolters Kluwer; 2015.Google Scholar
  4. Fehlings MG, editor. Critical care in spinal cord injury. London: Future Medicine; 2013.Google Scholar
  5. Flint G, Rusbridge C, editors. Syringomyelia, a disorder of CSF circulation. London: Springer; 2014.Google Scholar
  6. Kirshblum S, Campagnolo DI, editors. Spinal cord medicine. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer, Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins; 2011.Google Scholar
  7. Vaccaro AR, Fehlings MG, Dvorak MF, editors. Spine and spinal cord trauma, evidence-based management. New York: Thieme Medical Publishers; 2011.Google Scholar
  8. Vanderah T, Gould DJ. Nolte’s the human brain. Philadelphia: Elsevier; 2016.Google Scholar
  9. Vogel LC, Zebracki K, Betz RR, Mulcahey MJ, editors. Spinal cord injury in the child and young adult. London: Mac Keith Press; 2014.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hyun-Yoon Ko
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Rehabilitation MedicineRehabilitation Hospital, Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital, Pusan National University School of MedicineYangsanSouth Korea

Personalised recommendations