Comparing Spinal Cord Injuries Above and Below the Age of 70

Spinal cord injury, causes, types and complications.
By: Mueller and Hillin
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Jan. 31, 2010 - PRLog -- When comparing spinal cord injuries to younger generations, the elderly, 70 yrs and older, have had up to 5 times more injuries in the past three decades. That's according to researchers at two leading spinal cord injury centers. Figures show that 20% of the total population in the U.S. will be 65 or older by 2040. So as the number of elderly increases, so will the need for surgeons and rehab facilities.

Such injuries are more common place with the elderly and the death rate is much higher than with the younger generation, and should be regarded when discussing the interventions needed and when consulting with the families of the likely or probable outcome of spinal cord injuries. Many of these injuries are also related to lawsuits, in which case you should consult with a Spinal Cord Injury lawyer such as those at

Geriatric spinal cord injury patients have risen five fold since 1980, and the elderly spinal cord injury population has risen from 4.2% to 15.4% in that same time. When comparing to younger spinal cord injury patients the elderly are likely to have less severe nerve damage, but their death rate is much higher.

Researchers found that the total yearly admissions since 1980 until recent have increased 60%, but elderly admissions have drastically increased as much as 580% in the same period. The cause is that the bone quality changes as you age. Making the elderly much more susceptible to spinal cord injuries, with some 74% being caused by falling down.

Death due to the result or complications from spinal cord injuries is 8 times that of younger injury patients because of their bodies ability to heal from such injuries, and if they have another illness or severe injury when the spinal cord injury occurs. Death during a stay at a hospital in patients younger than 70yrs was 3.2%, while with the 70 and above age group it was 27%. Death one year after leaving the hospital was 5.4% for younger than 70 yrs and 44% for those 70 and above. The quadriplegic death rate had the highest while the paraplegic had the lowest in both age groups.
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