Causes of Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injuries often are caused by trauma, such as a car accident (36%), violence such as a gunshot wound (29%), a serious fall (21%), or recreational activities such as surfing, diving, and skiing. In addition, diseases such as spina bifida or polio can cause spinal cord injuries. Defective products, a dangerous condition on someone’s premises, construction accidents, medical malpractice, dog bites, motorcycle, boating, bicycle, or pedestrian accidents can also cause spinal cord injuries.

While spinal cord injuries typically are caused by an unexpected accident that could happen to anyone, some people have a higher risk of sustaining such an injury, including:

Sex:Men suffer nearly eighty-two percent of spinal cord injuries in the United States.

Age:Over half of people living with a spinal cord injury were injured when they were between the ages of sixteen and thirty. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injury for this age group. For people over sixty five, falls cause most spinal cord injuries.

Hobbies:Sports and recreational activities cause nearly ten percent of spinal cord injuries. At particularly high risk are people who surf, ski, dive, do gymnastics, or play contact sports such as football, hockey, or rugby.

Health:People who suffer diseases of the joints or bones, such as arthritis or osteoporosis are particularly susceptible to injuring the spinal cord, even with a relatively minor injury.

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