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Last Modified: May 2, 2023

Spinal Cord Injury Statistics

The Utah Department of Health Spinal Cord Injury and Brain Injury Rehabilitation Fund reports the following spinal cord injury statistics:

Spinal Cord Injury Micrographic 1

Incidence of Spinal Cord Injury

  • In 2014, 95 Utah residents were hospitalized due to spinal cord injury
  • The incidence of spinal cord injury is 3.6 per 100,000 population
  • Utah residents ages 85 and older have the highest rate of injury
  • Males account for 72% of injuries
  • Victims typically spend 8.5 days in the hospital
  • The cost of initial hospitalization over a five-year period totaled more than $54 million

Statistics of Causes of Spinal Cord Injury

Falls are the leading cause of spinal cord injury (38%), followed by motor vehicle crashes (18%). ATVs and off-road vehicle crashes account for an additional 7% of spinal cord injuries. Sports including bicycle accidents, horse riding, and snow activities also contribute to spinal cord injuries. Suicides and suicide attempts account for 2% of injuries, and assault accounts for an additional 2% of spinal cord injuries.

Are Spinal Cord Injuries Increasing or Decreasing Over Time?

The incidence of spinal cord injuries has remained relatively constant in the last few years. In 2010, the rate of hospitalizations for spinal cord injury per 100,000 population was 3.7. By 2014, the number slightly declined to 3.6. The high from 2010-2014 occurred in 2011 with a hospitalization rate of 3.8. The low occurred in 2013 at 3 per 100,000 population.

Rehabilitation and Mobility Statistics for Spinal Cord Injury

For patients in SCI/BI rehabilitation found:

  • 100% improved transfer skills with therapy and treatment
  • 97% improved their quality of life
  • 92% saw increased movement with or without devices to assist
  • 88% were able to continue school or work

Treatment Barriers for Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injury victims may face the following barriers to treatment:

  • Education and awareness about available services
  • Knowledge of the benefits of education
  • Transfers to treatment from rural areas
  • Limited funds