The aims of this systematic review were to describe the quantity and methodological quality of meta-analyses in orthopaedic surgery published during the last 17 years.
Materials and Methods
MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PubMed, between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2016, were searched for meta-analyses in orthopaedic surgery dealing with at least one surgical intervention. Meta-analyses were included if the interventions involved a human muscle, ligament, bone or joint.
A total of 392 meta-analyses met eligibility criteria, for which the mean AMSTAR quality score was 7.1/11. There was a positive correlation between the year of publication and the quality of the meta-analysis (r = 0.238, p < 0.001). Between 2000 and 2011, the mean AMSTAR score corresponded to that of a medium quality review. However, between 2012 and 2016, the mean scores have been consistently equivalent to those of a high-quality review. The number of meta-analyses published increased 10-fold between 2005 and 2014.
The quantity and quality of meta-analyses in orthopaedic surgery which have been published has increased, reaching a plateau in 2012. Methodological flaws remain to be addressed in future meta-analyses in order to continue increasing the quality of the orthopaedic literature. Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2018;100-B:1270–4.