Background: To define the epidemiological pattern of nerve injuries and traumatic amputations in Sweden, 1998–2006, and investigate possible targets for emerging neural engineering and neuroprosthetic technologies. Methods: The Swedish Hospital Discharge Register was used as the information base, including data from all public inpatient care, excluding outpatient data. ICD-10 codes were used to classify nerve injuries and traumatic amputations of high incidence levels or inpatient care time. Selected codes, causative factors, age and gender distribution were discussed in detail, and potential targets for tailored solutions were identified. Results: Incidence rate was determined as 13.9 for nerve injuries and 5.21 for amputations per 100,000 person-years. The majority of injuries occurred at the wrist and hand levels, although it could be concluded that these are often minor injuries requiring less than a week of hospitalization. The single most care-consuming nerve injury was brachial plexus injury, constituting on average 68 injuries and 960 hospital days annually. When minor amputations of fingers and toes were disregarded, the most frequent site of amputation was between the knee and ankle (24 patients/year). Conclusions: Based on an analysis of incidence and care time, we find that brachial plexus injuries and lower leg amputations should be the primary targets of new technologies.

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