European Spine Journal

, Volume 21, Issue 10, pp 2059–2069 | Cite as

The 100 most cited spine articles

  • Michael R. Murray
  • Tianyi Wang
  • Gregory D. Schroeder
  • Wellington K. Hsu
Review Article



Spine-related research has evolved dramatically during the last century. Significant contributions have been made by thousands of authors. A citation rank list has historically been used within a particular field to measure the importance of an article. The purpose of this article is to report on the 100 most cited articles in the field of spine.


Science Citation Index Expanded was searched for citations in 27 different journals (as of 30 November 2010) chosen based on the relevance for all cited spine publications. The top 100 most cited articles were identified. Important information such as journal, date, country of origin, author, subspecialty, and level of evidence (for clinical research) were compiled.


The top 100 publications ranged from 1,695 to 240 citations. Fifty-three articles were of the lumbar, 17 were of the thoracolumbar, and 15 of the cervical spine. Eighty-one of the articles were clinical and 19 were basic science in nature. Level of evidence varied for the clinical papers, however, was most commonly level IV (34 of 81 articles). Notably, the 1990–1999 decade was the most productive period with 43 of the top 100 articles published during this time.


Identification of the most cited articles within the field of spine recognizes some of the most important contributions in the peer-reviewed literature. Current investigators may utilize the aspects of their work to guide and direct future spine-related research.


Citation analysis Spine surgery Publications 


Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael R. Murray
    • 1
  • Tianyi Wang
    • 1
  • Gregory D. Schroeder
    • 1
  • Wellington K. Hsu
    • 1
  1. 1.Northwestern UniversityChicagoUSA

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