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WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF SPINAL CORD INJURY?

April 26, 2013

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The major causes of spinal cord injuries in the U.S. remain relatively unchanged, according to a new fact sheet recently released by the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center.  Vehicular accidents, accidental falls, acts of violence and sports and recreation account for more than 90 per cent of all spinal cord injuries.

Tracking trends in the causes of SCI among 4,518 patients admitted to SCI Model Systems Hospitals between September 2005 and May 2012, the study found the statistics to be essentially unchanged.

Vehicular accidents remain the number-one cause, accounting for almost 4 out of 10 spinal cord injuries.  Cars are the vehicle most frequently involved; motorcycles account for almost 25 per cent of the vehicular total.

Accidental falls are the number-two cause, responsible for about 30 per cent of all spinal cord injuries. They are fairly evenly divided among falls on the same level, falls from another level and falls on and from stairs and steps.

The third major causes of SCI are acts of violence, which are responsible for about 15% of the total.  The vast majority are from gunshot wounds.

Sports and recreation activities rank number-four in causes of spinal cord injury, with diving accidents being by far the most common cause, followed by winter sports, surfing and horseback riding.

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