Nontraumatic spinal cord injury: incidence, epidemiology, and functional outcome

Short Title:
Nontraumatic Spinal Cord Injury: Incidence, Epidemiology, and Functional Outcome
Model System:
Reference Type:
Journal Article
Accession No.:
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):
1999, vol. 80, issue 6, pp 619-623
Publication Website:
Five year prospective study identifies and compares the incidence, demographics, neurologic presentation, and functional outcome of individuals with nontraumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) to individuals with traumatic SCI. Of 220 adult SCI admissions at a level I trauma center of a regional SCI model system, 39% were nontraumatic in etiology (spinal stenosis 54%, tumor 26%). Demographic comparisons between groups revealed more women, married persons, older persons, and retired persons in the nontraumatic SCI group. Less severe neurologic impairment patterns were observed in the nontraumatic SCI group. This group also was more likely to present with paraplegia than with tetraplegia, and motor incomplete lesions than complete lesions. Despite the older age of the nontraumatic SCI group, these individuals achieved significant Functional Independent Measure (FIM) scores during rehabilitation. Other notable subgroup differences in FIM scores are discussed. The results suggest that nontraumatic SCI patients can achieve outcomes similar to patients with traumatic SCI. Limitations and future research issues are considered.
McKinley, W. O.; Seel, R. T.; Hardman, J. T.
Author Address(es):
Participating Centers:

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