Aging with Spinal Cord Injury and Spinal Cord Injury in the Elderly

  • Hyun-Yoon Ko


With the general population aging, the average age at injuries and life expectancy after injuries of persons with spinal cord injury gradually increased. While the incidence of spinal cord injuries at younger age is decreasing, the incidence of spinal cord injury in the elderly is increasing due to biomechanical or anatomical degeneration in various parts of the body and degenerative changes in the spine and aging that increases the risk of falls due to physiological degeneration, sarcopenia, and frailty. In addition, the aging of spinal cord injury patients in childhood or young adults is a major concern. Aging of individuals with spinal cord injury, along with the general population, causes a variety of changes in the characteristics of many of the body organ systems. Various factors may contribute to the proposed changes with aging of persons with spinal cord injuries. For example, after spinal cord injuries, lack of mobility, muscle activity, and weight-bearing result in changes in body composition with decreased muscle mass and increased adipose tissue, decreased bone mineral density, and increase in cardiovascular risk factors. Overuse of the upper extremities can accelerate the problems of the musculoskeletal system. This chapter describes the characteristics of spinal cord injuries in the elderly and the aging of spinal cord injuries in children or young adults.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hyun-Yoon Ko
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Rehabilitation MedicineRehabilitation Hospital, Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital, Pusan National University School of MedicineYangsanSouth Korea

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