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Spinal cord injury (SCI) triggers inflammation with activation of innate immune responses that contribute to secondary injury including oligodendrocyte apoptosis, demyelination, axonal degeneration, and neuronal death. Macrophage activation, accumulation, and persistent inflammation occur in SCI. Macrophages are heterogeneous cells with extensive functional plasticity and have the capacity to switch phenotypes by factors present in the inflammatory microenvironment of the injured spinal cord. This review will discuss the role of different polarized macrophages and the potential effect of macrophage-based therapies for SCI.