Table 1

ISNCSCI impairment scale

ISNCSCI categoryDescriptionCharacteristics
ACompleteNo sensory or motor function in the sacral segments S4–S5
BSensory incompleteSensory but no motor function is preserved below the neurological level, including the sacral segments S4–S5, and no motor function is preserved more than three levels below the motor level on either side of the body
CMotor incompleteMotor function is preserved at the most caudal sacral segments for voluntary anal contraction or the patient meets the criteria for sensory incomplete status (sensory function preserved at the most caudal sacral segments S4–S5), and has some sparing of motor function more than three levels below the ipsilateral motor level on either side of the body
Less than half of key muscle functions below the single NLI have a muscle grade ≥3
DMotor incompleteMotor incomplete status as defined above, with at least half of key muscle functions below the single NLI having a muscle grade ≥3
ENormalIf sensation and motor function as tested with the ISNCSCI are graded as normal in all segments and the patient had prior deficits, then the AIS grade is E
Someone without an initial SCI does not receive an AIS grade
  • People with SCI have the severity of the motor and sensory impairment associated with their injuries scored using first a classification of the NLI (the most caudal spinal segmental level with intact motor and sensory function) and then with the ISNCSCI taxonomy. For more detail, please see the main text.