Welcome to UCSF Spinal Cord Injury Research at ZSFG

BASIC Score: A Unique and Simple Prognostic MRI based Scoring System for SCI
Another successful result of TRACK-SCI
TRACK-SCI Investigator Group


Spinal Cord Injury Overview:

Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a major cause of morbidity worldwide with debilitating impacts on quality of life and the healthcare system. Currently the 282,000 Americans affected by this injury have an estimated lifetime cost ranging from 1.5 million - 4.7 million. These patients face permanent functional disabilities including paralysis, sensory dysfunction, loss of bowel/bladder control, exaggerated reflex spasms, changes in sexual function/fertility, difficulty breathing, and pain. 


Implementing new treatment from the laboratory to patients requires an interdisciplinary and integrated approach from researchers, clinical researchers and clinicians. With this in mind, the Brain and Spinal Injury Center (BASIC) was created to promote collaborative basic, translational, and clinical studies in brain and spinal cord injuries. TRACK-SCI is the spinal cord injury branch of this center and is made possible by the joint effort of the Departments of Neurosurgery, Neurology, Radiology, Anaesthesiology, Orthopedics, and Emergency Medicine.

TRACK-SCI is dedicated to transforming the lives of SCI patients through high-quality research that actively examines current clinical practices and translates discoveries into improved care. Within the United States, TRACK-SCI is actively enrolling at several sites, including Ohio State University and the University of Washington, with more sites opening for enrollment soon. 

Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital & Trauma Center 

Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital & Trauma Center (ZSFG) is the only Level One trauma center in San Francisco and Northern San Mateo County. We provide life-saving, multi-cultural medical care to the 1.5 million adults and children within these counties in more than 20 languages. ZSFG is the first acute hospital in the country to be certified for a Traumatic Brain Injury Program and has been recognized for excellence in trauma, acute geriatric, stroke, infant, and HIV/AIDs care. 

ZSFG is a teaching hospital for the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and each physician serving at our institution is a UCSF faculty member. The hospital is home to 20 UCSF research centers, conducting more than $150 million in research annually. 

Demographic Information:

United States

  • 282,000 Americans living with this injury.
  • 17,000 new cases each year
  • Vehicular crashes are the leading cause of SCI followed by falls, violence, and sports/recreational activities
  • Average age at injury is 42-years
  • Males account for approximately 80% of new SCI cases

Lifetime Costs:

Injury at 25-years

  • High Tetraplegia (C1-C4): $4,729,788
  • Low Tetraplegia (C5-C8): $3,455,879
  • Paraplegia: $2,312,846
  • Motor Functional at Any Level: $1,580,148

Injury at 50-years

  • High Tetraplegia (C1-C4): $2,599,411
  • Low Tetraplegia (C5-C8): $2,125,674
  • Paraplegia: $1,517,851
  • Motor Functional at Any Level: $1,115,312


*Statistics obtained from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) 2016 report regarding SCI in the United States.