This paper presents a study of the damage production in yttria-stabilized cubic zirconia single crystals irradiated with medium-energy (from 30 to 450 keV) heavy ions (from He to Cs). The disorder created in the two sublattices (Zr4+ and O2−) of the crystals and the lattice sites of heavy ions were determined as a function of the irradiation fluence by in situ Rutherford backscattering and channeling experiments using a 3 MeV 4He ion beam. Damage is created at a depth close to the ion projected range at low fluences and growths towards greater depths with increasing fluences once the saturation has been reached. The kinetics of the damage accumulation process reveals three stages, which (excepted for He) essentially depend on the number of displacements per atom (dpa) induced by irradiating ions (ballistic contribution). Channeling results show that the lattice location of the heaviest atoms (Xe, Cs and I) varies with the nature of implanted species (chemical contribution). The experimental data can be represented in a diagram involving both the number of dpa and the implanted ion concentration, which could be used to predict the damage evolution in other ion-irradiated nuclear ceramics.