As the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons enters its second decade of publication with volume 11, issue 1, I would like to spend a moment reflecting on the achievements of the last decade and the potential for progress during the next. JAAOS grew out of the foresight of the Board of Directors of the Academy, who saw a need for another means of providing educational material to orthopaedic surgeons and those interested in the care of musculoskeletal conditions. The developments in orthopaedic surgery as well as the breadth and volume of written material had expanded exponentially. This made it very difficult to be able to read all of the new material on any given topic, let alone in the entire field of orthopaedic surgery. The authors of articles in JAAOS were therefore directed to evaluate the primary source material available on a topic and construct a review that selected the most credible material and emphasized the important concepts. With appropriate selection of the breadth of the topic, this approach allowed the readers, within a succinct 10-page review, to update their knowledge, understand the limitations of the primary source material, and, if desired, pursue a point of interest in an article from the list of references.
Since the initial issue of JAAOS in 1993, both the field of musculoskeletal care and the way we learn about new developments have continued to evolve rapidly. The editorial board has reacted to changes in both areas to continue to make JAAOS relevant for the readership. New formats have made the Journal more accessible to all of its readers, no matter their preference. In 1997, the CD-ROM version was developed and has been updated annually so that readers can have all of the material available on any computer. The advent of the JAAOS website allowed immediate access to even the most current issue. It now provides enhanced search capabilities and abstracts of the articles in seven languages. The PDA version is being introduced this year at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in New Orleans. Subscribers will be able to download single articles or entire issues of JAAOS to view on their handheld devices.
The approach to the editorial content also has changed, with new types of review articles that cover the expanding realm of information on musculoskeletal conditions. Perspectives on Modern Orthopaedics deals with innovations in treatment or diagnosis about which the material defining the effectiveness is often preliminary or incomplete, and thus not suitable for a full-length submission. The series of articles developed in conjunction with the Orthopaedic Research Society gives a glimpse of possibilities for the future, defining how the research advances of today may translate into improved treatment tomorrow. Advances in Therapeutics and Diagnostics provides the clinician with a brief summary of how certain pharmaceuticals or diagnostic modalities are useful specifically in the evaluation or treatment of musculoskeletal problems.
“10” is also a digital representation of data: zeroes and ones. The newest section added to JAAOS, which appears in this issue, is Web and Wireless Review. The initial topic is websites that deal with software for the electronic medical office. In each subsequent issue, this section will review a specific type of website, a utility for your computer or PDA, an online textbook, or other applications relevant to the orthopaedic surgeon. Web addresses for each site discussed will be included, and direct links will be available in the article on the JAAOS website at www.jaaos.org. For those who are comfortable with these applications, we hope the columns by our knowledgeable reviewers will help you assess the quality of a site and its applicability. For those who are less facile, perhaps both the reviews and the easy accessibility will introduce you to new options for enhancing your knowledge and practice. We know from our most recent reader survey that use of the JAAOS website has increased markedly in the last 2 years, and we will continue to add features to enhance its value.
Finally, we would like to thank so many of you for participating in our latest reader survey. We appreciate both your input as well as the high regard you have for the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons as a critical element in your continuing education. None of this would have been possible without the dedicated staff in the Journal office in Chicago during the last 10 years. Each individual has contributed something unique to the development of JAAOS. The quality of the editorial content is a direct reflection of the efforts of my predecessor, John Frymoyer, MD, the talented associate editors, the many dedicated reviewers, and certainly those of you who have given of your time to write the articles that are the core of the success of JAAOS. You all truly rate a “10,” and with your continued support, the next decade of JAAOS will be similarly successful.