To determine characteristics and trends in published spine research
over a recent decade in a high impact, general orthopedic surgery journal.
Summary of Background Data.
Recent trends in published spine research
in a high-impact orthopedic surgery journal are unknown. Such knowledge could guide future research in the field.
A comprehensive literature review of clinical and basic science spine articles published in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery
from 2006 to 2015 was conducted. Articles were assessed for: title, year of publication, authorship, academic degrees of the authors, number of citations, institution of origin, and spine topic. Clinical articles were evaluated for: sex and race/ethnicity of the human subjects, level of evidence, and inclusion of patient-reported outcome measures
(PROMs). Basic science articles were evaluated for: type of study (animal, cadaver, cell-based), sex of the animals, cadavers or cells studied (male, female, or male and female), and presence of sex-based reporting (defined as reporting of results by sex).
A total of 203 spine articles were evaluated from the 10-year study period. At least 35 validated or nonvalidated patient-reported outcome measures
were utilized in clinical spine research
. The most commonly reported PROMs were the Oswestry Disability Index (24.4%), Short Form-36 Health Survey (23.7%), and Visual Analog Scale for Pain (19.3%). The average level of evidence improved from 3.25 in 2006 to 2.60 in 2015. Only 13.2% of clinical spine articles reported the race/ethnicity of the subjects.
A consensus regarding validated PROMs in spine research
would be valuable. From 2006 to 2015, the level of evidence of spine articles in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery
improved. Accurate and complete reporting of patient demographics is an area for improvement in spine research
in light of studies demonstrating sex and race/ethnicity-related differences in clinical outcome after spine surgery.
Level of Evidence: 5