The costs of spinal cord injury

Edgar D. Charles, Philip R. Fine, Samuel L. Stover, Travis Wood, Alice F. Lott, Jennie Kronenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


An ongoing study of medical care and associated costs relative to spinal cord injury is being conducted at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, one of 11 federally funded Model Regional Spinal Cord Injury Centres. It was hypothesised such costs would be lower among patients admitted into an organised continuum of care (system) soon after injury than among patients whose entry into the organised system of care was delayed (non-system).A comprehensive economic data set has been acquired on 142 of 233 (61 per cent) patients admitted since implementation of the project.Analysis of these data reveals: (1) system patients require, on average, expenditures of almost $5,000 less than their non-system counterparts; (2) there is little difference in medical or associated costs and length of hospitalisation between tetraplegics and paraplegics; (3) spinal cord injuries secondary to motor vehicle accidents have higher associated costs and longer lengths of stay than do those injuries resulting from other causes including acts of violence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)302-310
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 1978
Externally publishedYes


  • Economic data
  • Non-system treatment
  • System treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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