What conditions are associated with SCI?

SCI is associated with many secondary conditions that have significant impacts on medical rehabilitation management, long-term outcome, and quality of life.

  • Secondary conditions associated with SCIs include1,2:
    • Breathing problems
    • Bowel and bladder problems, including overactive bladder and incontinence
    • Heart problems
    • Pressure sores
    • Sexual function problems
    • Pain
    • Blood clots
    • Impaired muscle coordination (or spasticity)
    • Pneumonia
    • Autonomic dysreflexia (or hyperreflexia), which causes a potentially lethal increase in blood pressure
    • Increased likelihood of certain cancers, including bladder cancer


  1. McKinley, W. O., Tewksbury, M. A., & Godbout, C. J. (2002). Comparison of medical complications following nontraumatic and traumatic spinal cord injury. The Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, 25(2):88-93.
  2. Gunduz, H. & Binak, D. F. (2012). Autonomic dysreflexia: An important cardiovascular complication in spinal cord injury patients. Cardiology Journal, 19(2):215-219.
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