Statistics for the Practicing Spine Surgeon: Fundamental Measurements

Dhruv K.C. Goyal*, Katharine Stolz, Thomas J. Lee, Alexander Thomas, Nikhil Grandhi, Matthew S. Galetta, Srikanth N. Divi, Taolin Fang, Gregory D. Schroeder, Christopher K. Kepler, Alexander R. Vaccaro

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There are vast numbers of evidenced-based clinical trials produced each year, making it increasingly difficult to stay up to date with new treatments and protocols designed to provide the most optimal patient care. A physician's ability to combine existing knowledge with new data is limited by a basic understanding of the background statistics used in these studies. Our goal is to not only define the basic statistics commonly used in clinical trials but to also ensure that practitioners are able to have a working understanding of these statistical measurements to effectively make the most informed and efficacious decisions regarding patient management. On the basis of the recent growth of empirical spine literature, it is becoming more important for spine surgeons to have the basic statistical background necessary to efficiently interpret new data, which may affect clinical decision making regarding patient care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number00001
JournalClinical spine surgery
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • P -value
  • chi-square
  • confidence interval
  • orthopedic surgery
  • spine surgery
  • statistical analysis
  • statistics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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