Purpose Bibliometric studies are increasingly being utilized as a tool for gauging the impact of different literature within a given field. The purpose of this study was to identify the most cited articles related to the management of distal radius fractures to better understand how the evidence of this topic has been shaped and changed over time. Methods We utilized the ISI web of science database to conduct a search for the term “distal radius fracture” under the “orthopaedics” research area heading, and sorted the results by number of times cited. The 100 most cited articles published in orthopedic journals were then analyzed for number of citations, source journal, year of publication, number of authors, study type, level of evidence, and clinical outcomes utilized. Results The 100 most cited articles identified were published between 1951 and 2009. Total number of citations ranged between 525 and 67, and came from ten different orthopedic journals. The largest number of articles came from J Hand Surg Am and J Bone Joint Surg Am, each with 32. Consistent with previous analyses of orthopedic literature, the articles were primarily clinical, and of these, 53/76 were case series. The vast majority were evidence level IV. Only a small percentage of articles utilized patient reported outcome measures. Conclusions These data show that despite distal radius fractures being a common fracture encountered by physicians, very few of the articles were high quality studies, and only a low proportion of the studies include patient reported outcome measures. Surgeons should take this lack of high-level evidence into consideration when referencing classic papers in this field. Clinical relevance Analysis of the 100 most cited distal radius fracture articles allows for delineation of which articles are most common in the field and if a higher level of evidence correlates positively with citation quantity.
- Bibliometric study
- Distal radius
- Level of evidence
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine