Clinical Assessment Following Acute Cervical Spinal Cord Injury

Publication Date: November 29, 2013
Last Updated: March 14, 2022


Neurological Examination

The American Spinal Injury Association international standards for neurological and functional classification of spinal cord injury are recommended as the preferred neurological examination tool for clinicians involved in the assessment and care of acute spinal cord injury patients. (Level II)

Functional Outcome Assessment

The Spinal Cord Independence Measure III is recommended as the preferred functional outcome assessment tool for clinicians involved in the assessment, care, and followup of patients with spinal cord injuries. (Level I)

Pain Associated With Spinal Cord Injury

The International Spinal Cord Injury Basic Pain Data Set is recommended as the preferredmeans to assess pain, including pain severity, physical functioning, and emotional functioning, among SCI patients. (Level I)

Recommendation Grading



Clinical Assessment Following Acute Cervical Spinal Cord Injury

Authoring Organization

Publication Month/Year

November 29, 2013

Last Updated Month/Year

June 26, 2023

Document Type


External Publication Status


Country of Publication


Document Objectives

These 3 topics (neurological assessment, functional outcome, and pain associated with SCI) are the focus of this contemporary update on the Clinical Assessment Following Acute Spinal Cord Injury

Target Patient Population

Patients with acute spinal cord injury

Inclusion Criteria

Female, Male, Adolescent, Adult, Older adult

Health Care Settings

Ambulatory, Emergency care, Hospital, Outpatient

Intended Users

Nurse, nurse practitioner, physician, physician assistant


Assessment and screening, Diagnosis, Management, Treatment

Diseases/Conditions (MeSH)

D013116 - Spinal Cord, D059408 - Pain Management, D059787 - Acute Pain, D000066530 - Neurological Rehabilitation, D009460 - Neurologic Examination, D013119 - Spinal Cord Injuries, D010147 - Pain Measurement


spinal cord injury, acute pain, acute pain management

Source Citation

Neurosurgery, Volume 72, Issue suppl_3, March 2013, Pages 40–53,