This is a retrospective study conducted in all of the hospitals of Istanbul to survey new patients with a traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) in 1992. In that year 152 new traumatic SCI were identified. The estimated annual incidence was 21 per million population. The male/female ratio was 3/1. The mean age was 33, being 34 for male patients and 31 for female patients. 72% of all patients were under the age of forty. The major causes of SCI were falls (43%) and car accidents (41%), followed by being struck by an object (7%), gunshot injury (5%), stab injury (2%). Fifty patients (33%) were tetraplegic and 102 (67%) paraplegic. Regarding the tetraplegic patients the commonest level was C5, in those who were paraplegic L1. There were no cases at levels C1, T1 or T2. The commonest associated injury was head trauma, followed by fractures of an extremity (or extremities). Severe head trauma, as a major cause of death, may obscure the actual incidence of SCI in this study. Accidental falls (exceeding road accidents) were mostly due to falls from buildings and accidents on work premises.