Spinal Cord Injury Statistics
Did you know that statistics tell us that every hour of every day, another person is spinal cord injured?
According to the 2020 SCI Data Sheet from the National SCI Statistical Center (NSCISC):
- Approximately 17,810 new spinal cord injuries each year in the USA.
- Males account for about 78% of new SCI cases.
- Approximately 294,000 people with SCI live in the United States with a range of 250,000 to 368,000 persons.
- Average age at the time of injury is 43 years old currently.
- Lengths of stay in the hospital acute care unit have declined to 11 days currently.
- Lengths of stay in rehabilitation have declined to 31 days currently.
Causes of Spinal Cord Injury: The chart below illustrates the most common causes of spinal cord injuries. Vehicle crashes are currently the leading cause of injury, followed by falls, acts of violence and sports/recreation activities.
Neurological Level and Extent of Lesion: Incomplete tetraplegia is currently the most frequent neurological category.
Lifetime Costs: The average yearly expenses (health care costs and living expenses) and the estimated lifetime costs that are directly attributable to SCI vary greatly based on education, neurological impairment, and pre-injury employment history. These estimates do not include any indirect costs such as losses in wages, fringe benefits, and productivity.
| Average Yearly Expenses
(in 2019 dollars)
|Estimated Lifetime Costs by
Age at Injury (discounted at 2%)
|Severity of Injury||First Year
||Each Subsequent Year
||25 Years Old
||50 Years Old
|High Tetraplegia (C1-C4) AIS ABC||$1,149,629||$199,637||$5,100,941||$2,803,391|
|Low Tetraplegia (C5-C8) AIS ABC||$830,708||$122,468||$3,727,066||$2,292,479|
|Paraplegia AIS ABC||$560,287||$74,221||$2,494,338||$,1,636,959|
|Motor Functional at Any Level AIS D||$375,196||$45,572||$1,704,144||$1,202,832|
Life Expectancy (years) for Post-Injury by Severity of Injury at Age at Injury:
|Age at Injury||No SCI||AIS D-Motor Functional at Any Level
|AIS D-Motor Functional at Any Level||Para||Low Tetra
For more statistics on SCI see:
SCI Facts and Figures at a Glance from NSCISC, or contact:
The National SCI Statistical Center
1717 6th Avenue South, Room 515
Birmingham, AL 35233-7330
PHONE: 205-934-3320; TDD: 205-934-4642