Rehabilitation outcomes in patients with spinal cord injury 1992-2003: Survival, neurologic recovery, length of stay in hospital

Kefah Abou-Amsha*, Lilach Front, Ilana Gelernter, Jacob Hart, Amiram Catz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The outcomes of spinal cord injuries (SCI) have improved over the last decades. Objectives: Update on outcomes following SCI in Israel. Methods: Data on 259 SCI patients admitted for rehabilitation between 1992 and 2003 were collected. Survival rates were estimated using the product limit (Kaplan-Meyer) method and their association with risk factors was analyzed with the Cox Proportional Hazard model. Neurological recovery was determined by the change in Frankel grades during rehabilitation, and compared with data from a previous study using the w2 test. Effects on neurological recovery were examined using logistic regression. Effects on length of stay (LOS) were assessed by ANOVA. Results: The number of SCI patients approximately doubled during the 1990s. Survival rate was 88% and 86.3%, 5 and 10 years respectively after injury. Survival was negatively associated with age (p<0.001) and with high spinal level of injury (p<0.001). Thirty eight percent of patients with Frankel grades A, B, or C (SCI that do not allow functioning) recovered to grades D or E (that allow functioning). Average LOS was 135 days. LOS was positively associated with Frankel grade and negatively with recent SCI onset. Conclusions: The demand for rehabilitation after SCI increased significantly in the studied decade. In Israel, survival and neurological recovery rates after SCI rehabilitation are close to those reported in other countries. Despite the decrease in LOS, in recent years, survival is at least as long as before, and neurological recovery has improved significantly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)504-508
Number of pages5
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • Length of stay in hospital
  • Neurological deficit
  • Recovery
  • Spinal cord injury


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