Skip to main content

08.04.2019 | General Review • GENERAL ORTHOPAEDICS - RESEARCH | Ausgabe 6/2019

European Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery & Traumatology 6/2019

Overview of randomised controlled trials in orthopaedic research: search for significant findings

European Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery & Traumatology > Ausgabe 6/2019
Hosam E. Matar, Simon R. Platt
Wichtige Hinweise

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.



The majority of recent orthopaedics randomised controlled trials (RCTs) have been non-inferiority trials with no significant clinical or statistical differences between treatment groups. The aim of this study was to evaluate randomised trials for significant findings in the orthopaedic literature based on the main elective procedures undertaken across different subspecialties.


We evaluated the following procedures: anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF), subacromial decompression (SAD), carpal tunnel decompression (CTD), total hip replacement (THR), anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR), total knee replacement (TKR) and hallux valgus correction (HVC). Following PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines, we searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL, 2018, Issue 1), Ovid MEDLINE (1946 to 12 January 2018) and Embase (1980 to 12 January 2018). Trials that met our inclusion criteria were assessed using a binary outcome measure of whether they reported statistically significant findings.


We included 1078 RCTs across seven most commonly performed elective procedures. Of those, only 16% (172/1078) reported significant findings [ACDF 26/77 (33.8%); SAD 2/22 (9%); CTD 11/72 (15.3%); THR 52/281 (18.5%); ACLR 21/239 (8.8%); TKR 55/357 (15.4%); HVC 5/30 (16.7%)]. The number of RCTs per year of publication has increased dramatically particularly since early 2000s—with over 100 RCTs of those seven procedures published in 2017 alone.


This is the first study to undertake a comprehensive review of orthopaedic RCTs in elective practice. The number of RCTs in orthopaedic research is steadily increasing. However, only 16% of trials reports significant differences between interventions.

Clinical relevance

For trials comparing different surgical techniques, this evidence provides treating surgeons with the flexibility to utilise available resources and infrastructure to deliver patients care without compromising clinical outcomes. Further, for trials comparing different treatment modalities, this study helps to inform the shared decision-making process when counselling patients on the effectiveness of surgical interventions.

Bitte loggen Sie sich ein, um Zugang zu diesem Inhalt zu erhalten

e.Med Interdisziplinär

Mit e.Med Interdisziplinär erhalten Sie Zugang zu allen CME-Fortbildungen und Fachzeitschriften auf Zusätzlich können Sie eine Zeitschrift Ihrer Wahl in gedruckter Form beziehen – ohne Aufpreis.

Jetzt e.Med bestellen und 100 € sparen!

Weitere Produktempfehlungen anzeigen
Über diesen Artikel

Weitere Artikel der Ausgabe 6/2019

European Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery & Traumatology 6/2019 Zur Ausgabe

Up-to date Review and Case Report • KNEE - GENERAL ORTHOPAEDICS

Epidermal inclusion cyst of the knee

  1. Sie können e.Med Orthopädie & Unfallchirurgie 14 Tage kostenlos testen (keine Print-Zeitschrift enthalten). Der Test läuft automatisch und formlos aus. Es kann nur einmal getestet werden.

Neu im Fachgebiet Orthopädie und Unfallchirurgie

Mail Icon II Newsletter

Bestellen Sie unseren kostenlosen Newsletter Update Orthopädie und Unfallchirurgie und bleiben Sie gut informiert – ganz bequem per eMail.