Ann Rehabil Med. 2023 Feb;47(1):4-10. doi: 10.5535/arm.23020. Epub 2023 Feb 28.
Spinal cord injury (SCI) has been recognized as a medically complex and life-disrupting condition. As the aging of the population accelerates, the trend of SCI has changed. This review aimed to provide comprehensive statistics and recent epidemiological changes in SCI and rehabilitation in Korea. All three insurance databases (National Health Insurance Service [NHIS], automobile insurance [AUI], and industrial accident compensation insurance [IACI]) were considered. These nationwide databases provide data on the current trends in term of incidence, etiology, and rehabilitation of SCI. Traumatic spinal cord injury (TSCI) was more frequent among the elderly in the NHIS compared to working age individuals in the AUI and IACI. In all three trauma-related insurance databases, male with TSCI outnumbered female. TSCI incidence per year was approximately 17 times higher among males than females, on average, in IACI. In all three insurances, the cervical level of TSCI was the most frequent. Although the ratio of SCI patients receiving rehabilitation treatment at primary and secondary hospitals increased for nine years, the increase in training on activities of daily living (ADL training) was found to be relatively small. This review provides a broader and comprehensive understanding of the incidence, etiology, and rehabilitation treatment of SCI in Korea.