Costs of Spinal Cord Injury

It is now known that the length of stay and hospital charges for acute care and initial rehabilitation are higher for cases where admission to the spinal cord injury system is delayed beyond 24 hours.

Average Hospital Charges

Quadriplegics
$118,900
Paraplegics
$85,100
All
$99,553

Average yearly health care and living expenses that are directly attributed to SCI vary greatly according to severity of injury:

Severity of Injury
First Year
Each Subsequent Year
High Tetraplegia (C1-C4)
$417,067
$74,707
Low Tetraplegia (C5-C8)
$269,324
$30,602
Paraplegia
$152,396
$15,507
Incomplete Motor Functional at Any Level
$122,914
$8,614
All Groups
$198,335
$24,154
Severity
Age at Injury (25 Years)
(50 Years)
High Tetraplegia (C1-C4)
$1,349,029
$876,287
Low Tetraplegia (C5-C8)
$748,234
$528,021
Paraplegia
$427,733
$326,272
Incomplete Motor Functional at Any Level
$287,001
$231,018

These figures do not include any indirect costs such as losses in wages, fringe benefits and productivity which could average almost $38,000 but vary substantially based on education, severity of injury and pre-injury employment history.


Source: Spinal Cord Injury Facts and Figures at a Glance. The National SCI Statistical Center. February 2013.