There are currently 200,000 individuals with spinal cord injury in the United States, with 12,000-20,000 new injuries annually or 40 individuals per one million individuals in the population. The main causes of spinal cord injury can be categorized into four major categories: motor vehicle accidents (46%), falls (22%), violence (16%) and sports (12%). Of these injuries, approximately 50%-70% of the individuals are between the ages of 15-35, resulting in more years lived with disability (YLD). There are many long-term implications associated with spine injury including paralysis, respiratory, urinary and gastrointestinal complications which have a large impact on quality of life. The cost of a spine injury for an individual across their lifespan can range from $500,000 to over $3,000,000 depending on the severity of the injury. The burden of spinal injury demonstrates the dire need for research to be conducted in the area of spine trauma.
Rick Hansen Spinal Cord Injury Registry
The Mac Ortho spine program participated in the development of the Rick Hansen Spinal Cord Injury Registry (RHSCIR). The RHSCIR is a pan-Canadian prospective observational registry of individuals sustaining a traumatic spinal cord injury at 31 major Canadian acute care and rehabilitation hospitals. RHSCIR was initiated as a research study sponsored by the Rick Hansen Institute and was developed to collect data on individuals who sustain spinal cord injuries and link clinicians, researchers, and health care administrators with the goal of improving both research and clinical practice for individuals with SCI by facilitating the translation of research into clinical practice and promotion of evidence-based practices. Using standardized research protocols and data collection forms, RHSCIR tracks the experiences and outcomes of people with traumatic SCI during their journey from acute care to rehabilitation to community reintegration. Details about participants' spinal cord injuries including extent of injury and level of paralysis, recovery, and success of various treatments are among the data recorded. Across Canada, RHSCIR is collecting comprehensive SCI data for the purpose of improving SCI care and clinical outcomes. The registry promotes, encourages, and supports the pursuit of excellence in spinal cord injury health care management.
Global Spinal Injuries
Trauma is a major public health problem globally. Injuries due to trauma have rapidly been increasing in number worldwide, particularly in developing countries such as India. This is in part due to the rapid motorization over the past two decades. Excessive speed, non-usage of helmets, driving under the influence of alcohol, and poor road design and infrastructure-related factors are some major risk factors for the increasing number of road traffic accidents. Trauma is projected to be third largest killer in the developing world by 2020, with a large number of these injuries comprising of spinal trauma and traumatic spinal cord injury.
Traumatic spinal cord injury has devastating consequences, resulting in varying degrees of paralysis, sensory loss, bladder/bowel dysfunction, and mortality. The effects of this injury are not just limited to an individual’s health, but also create enormous financial burdens on families and society at large. The burden of traumatic spinal cord injury and its sequelae is enormous, particularly in the developing world. A thorough epidemiological understanding is vital for implementing preventative measures and planning clinical services, as well as understanding disease morphology and burden.
The specific objective of the disorders of the spine theme is:
- To be an active contributor to the Rick Hansen Spinal Cord Injury Registry.
- To explore the factors associated with major outcomes following spinal fracture treatment in low-middle income countries.