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Further Emphasis on Evidence

Heckman, James D., MD; Editor-in-Chief

doi: 10.2106/JBJS.edit9107

Since our introduction of an Evidence-Based Orthopaedics section in The Journal in 20001, we have endeavored to provide useful guidance to our readers regarding the quality of the clinical research studies that we publish. These efforts have encouraged the conduct of more well-designed studies, and we believe that, as a consequence, the orthopaedic literature in general has been enhanced. Each year, The Journal, through the Evidence-Based Orthopaedics section and the annotations to the monthly subspecialty updates entitled “What's New in …,” has provided to our readers access to more than 100 Level-I and Level-II studies published in the world's literature. We have been encouraged that the proportions of high-quality clinical research articles that we both receive for consideration and end up publishing have increased over the last several years2.

With this issue, we are further expanding our delivery of evidence-based information. Going forward, every month the Evidence-Based Orthopaedics section will contain important information that will be of use to the practicing orthopaedic surgeon. We will continue our quarterly publication of the synopses of three important clinical articles published in other journals, each edited by James G. Wright, MD, and supplemented by critical clinical commentary from an expert in orthopaedic surgery. In addition, beginning this month, and once every quarter, we will publish the summary of one of the evidence-based Clinical Practice Guidelines that have been developed and endorsed by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. This quarter's summary relates to the prevention of symptomatic pulmonary embolism in patients undergoing total hip or total knee arthroplasty. The third component of the expanded Evidence-Based Orthopaedics section will contain systematic reviews of important clinical topics in orthopaedic surgery. It is hoped that these summaries, edited by Rick W. Wright, MD, will provide clear direction to clinical practices that are supported by well-done studies. In addition, they should identify areas in need of further research.

It is our hope that by constructing this specific section in The Journal, our readers will be able to more readily access scientifically valid clinical information that can improve the care of their patients.

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1. Wright JG, Swiontkowski MF. Introducing a new journal section: evidence-based orthopaedics. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2000;82:759.
2. Hanzlik S, Mahabir RC, Baynosa RC, Khiabani KT. Levels of evidence in research published in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (American Volume) over the last thirty years. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2009;91:425-8.
Copyright © 2009 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated