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01.05.2011 | Survey | Ausgabe 5/2011

Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research® 5/2011

100 Most Cited Articles in Orthopaedic Surgery

Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research® > Ausgabe 5/2011
MD, MSc, FRCSC Kelly A. Lefaivre, MD, MSc Babak Shadgan, MD, FRCSC Peter J. O’Brien
Wichtige Hinweise
Each author certifies that he or she has no commercial associations (eg, consultancies, stock ownership, equity interest, patent/licensing arrangements, etc) that might pose a conflict of interest in connection with the submitted article.



Citation analysis reflects the recognition a work has received in the scientific community by its peers, and is a common method to determine ‘classic’ works in medical specialties.


We determined which published articles in orthopaedic journals have been most cited by other authors by ranking the 100 top-cited works. By analyzing characteristics of these articles, we intended to determine what qualities make an orthopaedic article important to the specialty. Finally, we determined if there was a change in level of evidence of studies on this list with time.


Science Citation Index Expanded was searched for citations to articles published in any of the 49 journals in the subject category “ORTHOPEDICS.” Each of the 49 journals was searched separately using the “cited reference search” to determine the 100 most often cited articles. Each article was reviewed for basic information including year of publication, country of origin, source journal of the article, article type, and level of evidence. We categorized the journal article by field of research where possible.


The number of citations ranged from 1748 to 353. The 100 most often cited articles in orthopaedic surgery were published in 11 of the 49 journals, spanning from general to more specific subspecialty journals. The majority of the papers (76) were clinical, with the remaining representing some type of basic science research. The most common level of evidence was IV (42 of the 76 studies). Of the 76 clinical articles, 27 introduced or tested classification systems or outcome measurement tools.


Authors aiming to write a highly cited article in an orthopaedic surgery journal will be favored by language of publication, source journal, country of origin, and introduction of a classification scheme or outcome tool.

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