Definition of Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)

Specialised spinal cord injuries encompass any traumatic insult to the spinal column at cervical (neck), thoracic (chest), thoracolumbar, lumbar, lumbo-sacral (lower back) or multiple levels which cause complete or partial interruption of the spinal cord function.

Specialised SCI services include patients who have experienced spinal cord injury resulting either from a traumatic cause or a non-traumtic cause.  NB – When such injury results from an accident such as a road traffic accident or a fall it is referred to as ‘traumatic’ SCI.  When it results from disease or infection it is referred to as a ‘non-traumatic’ SCI.


Reference (NHS Standard Contract for Spinal Cord Injuries Schedule 2 – Specialised services national definition set no.6 part 1 version 3)