Injury of the Thoracolumbar Posterior Ligamentous Complex: A Bibliometric Literature Review

Mohamed M. Aly, Ramy A. Elemam, Mohammad El-Sharkawi, R. John Hurlbert

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: To conduct a bibliometric review of literature on posterior ligamentous complex (PLC) injury in thoracolumbar trauma to guide future research. Methods: A keyword-based search was conducted from January 2000 to September 2021 using the Scopus database. Relevant publications were analyzed for year of publication, authorship, publishing journal, institution and country of origin, subject matter, and article type. Content analysis of clinical articles was also performed, analyzed for sample size, retrospective versus prospective study design, single-center versus multicenter study, and level of evidence. Results: The search yielded 262 publications published in 61 journals by 537 authors from 162 institutions and 29 countries. Thomas Jefferson University, University of Calgary, and University of Toronto had the largest number of publications related to posterior ligamentous complex injury. Authors from the United States, Canada, and China were the most frequent contributors in terms of the number of publications. Spine was the most prolific and top-cited journal, and A.R. Vaccaro was the most prolific author. The most cited publication was “A New Classification of Thoracolumbar Injuries: The Importance of Injury Morphology, the Integrity of the Posterior Ligamentous Complex, and Neurologic Status” by Vaccaro et al. Most of the publications were case studies, with diagnostic accuracy being the most frequently discussed topic. The sample size for a large portion of the case series was <50. Most case series were retrospective studies conducted at a single center. Conclusions: Our review provides an extensive list of the most historically significant thoracolumbar PLC injury articles, acknowledging key contributions made to the advancement of this research area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-33
Number of pages13
JournalWorld neurosurgery
StatePublished - May 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Bibliometric analysis
  • Lumbar
  • Posterior ligamentous complex
  • Spine
  • Thoracic
  • Thoracolumbar
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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