Spinal Cord Injuries-Data and Statistics

Facts and Statistics
  • Each year, around the world, between 250,000 and 500,000 people suffer from a spinal cord injury.
  • The majority of spinal cord injuries are due to preventable causes such as road traffic crashes, falls or violence.
  • Spinal cord injury is associated with lower rates of school enrollment and economic participation.

Spinal Cord Injuries Are Most Commonly caused by:


Age of Injury

The average age of injury has increased from 20 years during the 1970’s to currently 42 years of age.


Males account for approximately 80% of new spinal cord injury cases.

Life Expectancies

Life expectancies for persons with SCI continue to increase, but are still somewhat below life expectancies.



Foundation for Spinal Cord Injury Prevention Care and Cure

National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center

Spinal Cord Injury News Blog

World Health Organization

Causes Of Spinal Cord Injuries

Cerebral Palsy Treatment Hospital

Spinal cord injuries occur in a variety of ways. In adults, damage to the spinal columnis usually also involved and the cord is stretched, bruised, impacted or compacted because of an external force or movement.

Age-related wear and tear on the spinal column, can cause narrowing of the intervertebral canal called stenosis. This results in pressure on the spinal cord and thespinal nerves, causing loss of function.

In children, a spinal cord injury often occurs by an over-stretching of the spinal cord.

What are the common causes of traumatic SCI?

Most traumatic SCI in Australia is caused by:

Motor vehicle accident involving either occupants or pedestrians


Sporting related accidents

Diving into shallow water

In Australia, traumatic SCI occurs in about 15 adults for each million in the population, every year. This has not changed for many years. It is expected to increase gradually in the years ahead due to…

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