Survival rate after SCI was 86% after 5 years, 71% after 15 years, and 58% after 25 years

Research Paper Title: Survival in Persons With Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury Receiving Structured Follow-Up in South India


To assess the survival in persons with traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) receiving structured follow-up in South India.


Retrospective study.


Rehabilitation center.


Persons with traumatic SCI (N=490) residing within a 100-km radius of the institute who were managed and regularly followed up by the rehabilitation center between the years 1981 and 2011.


Not applicable.

Main Outcome Measures

Survival rates and mortality risk factors. Measures were estimated using the product limit (Kaplan-Meier) method and the Cox model.


The survival rate after SCI was 86% after 5 years, 71% after 15 years, and 58% after 25 years. Survival of persons with complete high cervical injury is substantially low compared with other levels of SCI. Level of injury and extent of lesion (Frankel classification and/or American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale) play a significant role in predicting survival of this population.


Survival rates of regularly followed-up persons with SCI from this study show promising results, though survival rates are lesser when compared with studies from developed countries. Better understanding of the predictors, causes of deaths, comprehensive rehabilitation, community integration, and regular follow-up could possibly assist in improving survival rates.


Rehabilitation; Spinal cord injuries; Survival

List of abbreviations

AIS, American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale; IQR, interquartile range; SCI, spinal cord injury; TSCI, traumatic spinal cord injury

No commercial party having a direct financial interest in the results of the research supporting this article has conferred or will confer a benefit on the authors or on any organization with which the authors are associated.


Apurba Barman, MD, Devika Shanmugasundaram, MScb, Rohit Bhide, DNB (PMR), Anand Viswanathan, MD, Henry Prakash Magimairaj, MD, Guru Nagarajan, PhDa, Elango Arumugam, MA (SW), George Tharion, DNB (PMR), Raji Thomas, MD

Corresponding author Apurba Barman, MD, Department of PM&R, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar, India 751019.

Copyright © 2014 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved


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