Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a very debilitating injury. During the six year period from 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2005 there were 19,912 hospital separations in Australia which involved some form of spinal cord injury. Transport-related cases accounted for over 47% of all incident cases, while fall-related injury accounted for a further 33%. Over half (54%) of separations involved readmissions related to complications of spinal cord injuries sustained at an earlier time. The introduction of person-based linkage would allow much more complete and reliable estimation of the incidence of SCI in the community and the burden of SCI on the hospital sector and community.