What is the ASIA Impairment Scale?

The ASIA impairment scale is another way of describing the functionality of a person with spinal cord injury. The ASIA scale is fast becoming the international standard of classification so for this reason you may sometimes hear health professionals refer to your injury as ASIA A, B, C, D or E.

The definition of each classification is:

A = Complete: No motor or 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 less than 3.

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

E = Normal: motor and sensory function are normal.


If you are unsure of the words being used to describe your injury, always ask your health professional for an explanation that you can understand.