Spinal Cord Injury Statistics

The following information was released in January 2008 as part of a report by the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center in Birmingham, Alabama, which is funded by the United States Department of Education. The studies were based on current cases of spinal cord injury (SCI), about 40 cases per million Americans.

Spinal cord injury statistics

Spinal Injury Victims

  • In 2007, a quarter of a million (255,702) Americans were living with a spinal cord injury.
  • About 12,000 people every year injure their spinal cord.
  • Approximately 78 percent of the injured are men.
  • Since 2005, the average age of spinal injury patients is 39.5 years old.
  • The average initial hospital stay for a person with a spinal injury is 15 days.


Motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of reported spinal injury cases (42 percent). Falls were the second most common cause (27 percent), then violence (15 percent), sports-related accidents (7 percent), and unknown (8 percent).


The average yearly health care and living expenses for people with paraplegia are $283,000 for the first year, and $29,000 for each following year. For people with quadriplegia, the first year costs range from $500,000 to $776,000 depending on the area and severity of the injury. For each subsequent year, the costs range from between $57,000 to $139,000.

Life after an Accident


About 40 percent of people with paraplegia eventually return to work after their injury. Thirty percent of people with quadriplegia go back to work.

Living Arrangements

Eighty-eight percent of persons with a spinal cord injury return to live at home after being discharged from the hospital. Six percent go to nursing homes.

Personal Life

Studies from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center show the likelihood of a married couple staying together after one of the partners suffers a spinal cord injury decreases slightly when compared to a non-injured couple.

Consult a Personal Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury because of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Use ImpactLaw’s directory of personal injury lawyers in your area to contact an experienced legal professional for more information.

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