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J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2013 Sep 18;95(18):e134. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.L.01681.

The 100 classic papers of pediatric orthopaedic surgery: a bibliometric analysis.

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Department of Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery, Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin 12, Ireland. E-mail address for R.G. Kavanagh:



Pediatric orthopaedic surgery owes its development to many pioneering individuals, and the studies that these individuals have undertaken form the basis for the clinical decisions made on the modern pediatric orthopaedic service. The aim of our study was to use citation analysis to identify the top 100 papers in pediatric orthopaedic surgery.


Using the Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge, we searched for citations of all papers relevant to pediatric orthopaedics. The number of citations, authorship, year of publication, journal of publication, and country and institution of origin were recorded for each paper.


The most cited paper was found to be the classic paper from 1963 by Salter and Harris that introduced the now-eponymous classification system for physeal injuries in the skeletally immature patient. The second most cited was Salter's paper describing the widely used osteotomy for the treatment of developmental dysplasia of the hip, and the third most cited was Catterall's description of the natural history of Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease. Most papers originated in the U.S., and most were published in this journal. A number of authors including Salter, Ponseti, Graf, and Loder had more than one paper in the top-100 list.


This paper's identification of the classic papers of pediatric orthopaedic surgery gives us a unique insight into the development of pediatric orthopaedic surgery in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries and identifies those individuals who have contributed the most to the body of knowledge used to guide evidence-based clinical decision-making in pediatric orthopaedics today.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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