Facts about Spinal Cord Injuries

Facts and Figures About Spinal Cord Injuries*

  • It is estimated that 40,000 people per year suffer a spinal cord injury in the United States, not including those who die at the scene of the accident.
  • This rate amounts to 40 people per million population
  • In the mid-1970s, the average age for a spinal cord injury (SCI) was 28.7 years, and the range for most injuries was between 16-30 years. By 2005, the average age for an SCI injury was 40.2.
  • At present, about 81% of SCI injuries were to males.

Causes of SCI injury break down as follows:

  • 42% from motor vehicle injuries
  • 27% from falls
  • 15% from violence
  • 8% from sports injuries
  • 8% from other

Types of SCI Injury:

  • Quadriplegia or Tetraplegia -- injury to the cervical portion of the spinal cord
  • Paraplegia -- injury to the thoracic, lumbar or sacral portion of the spinal cord
  • Complete Injury -- complete paralysis below the level of injury
  • Incomplete Injury -- situation where only part of the spinal cord was damaged, resulting in the person having sensation but no movement below the level of injury or vice versa

Neurological Breakdown of SCI Injuries:

  • 30% are incomplete quadriplegia
  • 26% are complete paraplegia
  • 21% are complete quadriplegia
  • 19% are incomplete paraplegic
  • Less than 1% experience complete neurological recovery by hospital discharge

Post Injury Occupational Status:

  • 1 year after injury, 11.5% of SCI patients are employed
  • 20 years after injury, 35.4% of SCI patients are employed

Residence and Marital Status:

  • 88% of SCI patients are discharged to a private home
  • 6% of SCI patients are discharged to nursing homes
  • 6% of SCI patients are discharged to other hospitals or other types of locations
  • 52.3% of SCI patients are single
  • The rate of marriage for SCI patients is lower than for the population at large for the same age group

Hospital and Rehabilitation Time:

  • From the mid 1970s until 2005, the median number of days in intensive care for an SCI injury was reduced from 24 to 12
  • For the same time, the median number of days in a rehabilitation facility was reduced from 94 to 37

Estimated Lifetime Costs:

  • C1-C4 Quadriplegic: $1.8 million to $3.2 million (based on age at injury)
  • C-5-C8 Quadriplegic: $1.1 million to $1.8 million (based on age at injury)
  • Paraplegic: $720,000 to $1.1 million (based on age at injury)

    Check out this document about September, Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month

    * Statistics provided by the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center at the University of Alabama-Birmingham

The Joseph S. Groh Foundation is dedicated to providing financial support and guidance to people with a connection to the plumbing, electrical, roofing, construction,  or HVAC industries who are living with life-altering disabilities.
 
 
The Joseph S. Groh Foundation is dedicated to providing financial support and guidance to people with a connection to the plumbing, electrical, roofing, construction,  or HVAC industries who are living with life-altering disabilities.