Spinal Cord Injury - Description

About ten thousand new spinal cord injuries (SPI) occur each year in the United States. About 250,000 people currently have this condition. Spinal cord injury can happen to anyone at any time of life. The typical patient, however, is a man between the ages of nineteen and twenty-six. The most common causes of SPI are motor vehicle accidents (which are responsible for 50 percent of all cases), a fall (20 percent), an act of violence (15 percent), or a sporting accident (14 percent). Alcohol or drug abuse is involved in many of the accidents that result in spinal cord injuries.

About 6 percent of those who suffer injury to the lower spine die within a year while approximately 40 percent of those who suffer injury to the upper spine die within a year.

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