ASIA impairment scale

The ASIA impairment scale describes a person’s functional impairment as a result of their spinal cord injury.

ASIA standard neurological classification

The American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) Standard Neurological Classification of Spinal Cord Injury is a standard method of assessing the neurological status of a person who has sustained a spinal cord injury.

Scale assessments are usually carried out by specialist medical staff at the hospital the person is admitted to.
ASIA international standards for neurological classification of spinal cord injury worksheet (PDF579KB)

It is important to include the score on the ASIA impairment scale in the referral for a spinal injured client. This score can usually be found in the medical notes of a client who has been admitted into either of the spinal units.

The five categories of the ASIA impairment scale

As spinal cord injuries and their impacts are complex, we have created a definitions page.
Spinal cord injury guideline definitions

Category

Description

A = Complete

Loss of motor and sensory function is preserved in the sacral segments S4-S5

B = Incomplete

Sensory but not motor function is preserved below the neurological level and includes the sacral segments S4-S5

C = Incomplete

Motor function is preserved below the neurological level, and more than half of key muscles below the neurological level have a muscle grade of less than 3

D = Incomplete

Motor function is preserved below the neurological level, and at least half of the key muscles below the neurological level have a muscle grade of 3 or more

E = Normal

Motor and sensory function are normal.

Reviewed: 30 September 2016