Top Orthopedic Journals by Subspecialty

Cover image for Exer.ai's blog post on top orthopedic journals featuring a stack of medical journals with various titles and colors, symbolizing the diversity and breadth of knowledge within the field of orthopedics.
This list of the top orthopedic journals is broken down by subspecialty and includes descriptions, Impact Factor ratings, and examples of articles.

You’re considering a new approach to hip surgery. So, you sit down to research what other orthopedic surgeons are doing (and not doing). The problem? A quick search for relevant medical journals produces lists but not much else.

When researching surgical techniques, strategies for treatment, or case studies, orthopedic surgeons need a simplified resource for reputable academic journals — not a long, confusing list.

So, we did the work for you. We’ve compiled the top orthopedic journals into a list that gives you access to the most current innovations in the field. Reference and revisit as necessary so you continuously improve your approach to treatment and support better patient outcomes. 

Note: Not all articles are open access.


Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS)

The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS) provides in-depth peer-reviewed articles from the foremost experts in the orthopedic field. Articles in the JAAOS cover topics including basic orthopedic science, sports medicine, spine, trauma, hip and knee, foot and ankle, shoulder and elbow, hand and wrist, and more. Readers can also find information about current and promising orthopedic research, as well as cutting-edge surgical techniques. 

Recent articles of note include “Comparison of Premium Technology Utilization in Total Hip Arthroplasty” and “Risk of Revision Shoulder Arthroplasty After Anatomic and Reverse Total Shoulder Arthroplasty.”

Impact Factor: 3.02

Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research

Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research (CORR) is a monthly publication ​​with the mission of sharing current and important orthopedic knowledge. Peer-reviewed articles cover the latest clinical updates, research, and opinions from leading voices in the field. CORR aims to provide an international perspective thanks to contributions from top global clinicians and researchers of the musculoskeletal system.

Interesting recent articles include “Has Arthroscopic Meniscectomy Use Changed in Response to the Evidence?,” based on a large-database study from Spain, and “Anatomic Versus Reverse Shoulder Arthroplasty for the Treatment of Glenohumeral Osteoarthritis.”

Impact Factor: 4.837

Foot and Ankle (Podiatry)

Foot and Ankle International

Foot and Ankle International (FAI) is the official journal of the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS). In publication since 1980, this monthly medical journal focuses on surgery, bone healing, pain management, wound care, and cutting-edge technologies for surgery and medical care, specifically in the areas of reconstruction, trauma, and sports-related conditions. FAI provides original, peer-reviewed research on new approaches and current case reviews.

Recent publications include a piece on an ankle reconstruction with a 3D-printed megaprosthesis and a 10-year analysis of the rise of total ankle arthroplasty.

Impact Factor: 3.569


Journal of Hand Surgery

The Journal of Hand Surgery offers original, peer-reviewed content that covers the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and abnormalities of the hand. The publication includes clinical studies, case reports, and special features like review articles.

Recent articles of note include one about a new technique for arthroscopic-assisted wrist surgery and one on joint research called “Routinely-Collected Outcomes of Proximal Row Carpectomy.”

Impact Factor: 2.342

Shoulder and elbow

Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery

The Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery is the authority on all things shoulder, arm, and elbow healthcare. As the official publication for eight leading organizations in the field, the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery focuses exclusively on techniques for treating disease and injury of the upper extremity. The peer-reviewed articles also feature vivid photos, professional illustrations, and diagrams that bring surgical approaches to life.

Interesting recent articles include a study on the biomechanics, stability, deformity, and fixation of “floating shoulder” ligaments and “Prediction of total healthcare cost following total shoulder arthroplasty utilizing machine learning.”

Impact Factor: 3.507

Hip and knee

Arthroplasty Today

Arthroplasty Today is a fully open-access journal that’s been in publication since 2015. As the journal of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, it focuses on case reports of hip and knee joint replacements. From knee arthroplasty to any complications that arise as well as subsequent treatment, Arthroplasty Today covers it all.

Recent articles include a case report about the failure of the screw/shell interface after total hip arthroplasty and another about the surgical technique of debridement, antibiotics, and implant retention for an infection after a UKA.

Arthroplasty Today has a 2.0 CiteScore. CiteScore is a similar metric to journal Impact Factor but presents a few differences, including years used for calculation, the number of journals, and the definition of subject area/category. CiteScore is calculated with Scopus, while Impact Factor is calculated with data from the Web of Science.

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Joint replacement

Journal of Arthroplasty

The Journal of Arthroplasty publishes peer-reviewed content covering the entire scope of joint replacement, including the treatment of complications. Peer-reviewed articles provide high-quality original research. 

Interesting articles recently published include “Emerging Racial Disparities in Outpatient Utilization of Total Joint Arthroplasty” and “Volume and Outcomes of Joint Arthroplasty.”

Impact Factor: 4.435

Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS)

The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery’s mission is to improve health around the world by providing resources about musculoskeletal disorders to orthopedic surgeons. The JBJS publishes peer-reviewed content in the form of articles and even features podcasts like “Your Case Is On Hold,” which dives into insights about the latest clinical and research studies. JBJS has been publishing since 1889.

Recent articles of note include “What’s New in Adult Reconstructive Knee Surgery” and “The Role of the Subacromial Bursa in Rotator Cuff Healing.”

Impact Factor: 4.578

Journal of Arthroscopy

The Arthroscopy Journal explains the art and science of diagnosing and treating joint issues using minimally invasive surgery. This peer-reviewed journal covers emerging arthroscopic techniques, the pros and cons of these methods, and various applications.

Recent articles include “Early Treatment of Shoulder Pathology Is Necessary but Not Enough Is Being Performed” and a clinical trial regarding “Functional Resistance Training After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction Improves Knee Angle and Moment Symmetry During Gait.”

Impact Factor: 5.973


Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics

The Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics provides articles about traumatic injuries, the nature of injury, as well as new drug therapies in children and adolescents. Readers will find recommendations for more successful surgical approaches to the latest trends in research.

Recent publications include “Limited Hip Flexion and Internal Rotation Resulting From Early Hip Impingement Conflict on Anterior Metaphysis of Patients With Untreated Severe SCFE Using 3D Modelling” and “Curve Characteristics and Surgical Outcomes in Scoliosis Associated With Childhood Sternotomy or Thoracotomy.”

Impact Factor: 2.537


European Spine Journal

The European Spine Journal is devoted to all spine-related surgery, spinal biomechanics and pathophysiology, diagnostics, outcomes, and more. The journal’s aim is to further support the development of innovative spine treatments that will benefit international orthopaedics and spark worldwide collaboration.

Recent articles include “Early surgical intervention alleviates sensory symptoms following acute traumatic central cord syndrome” and “The age-specific normative values of standing whole-body sagittal alignment parameters in healthy adults.”

Impact Factor: 2.586

Spine Journal

The Spine Journal is the official journal of the North American Spine Society. The international journal publishes original, peer-reviewed articles on spine and spine care, including research and treatment.

Recent articles include “Combination of vertebral bone quality scores from different magnetic resonance imaging sequences improves prognostic value for the estimation of osteoporosis” and “Why X-rays? The importance of radiographs in spine surgery.”

Impact Factor: 4.166 

Sports Medicine

American Journal of Sports Medicine

The American Journal of Sports Medicine brings orthopedic science in sports and exercise to its readers. First published in 1972, it’s the official publication of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. It’s an invaluable resource for orthopedic surgeons and specialists, sports medicine physicians, physical therapists, trainers, team doctors, and more. The numerous topics covered include rehab and training, the epidemiology of sports injuries, and the basic science relevant to clinical sports medicine.

Recent articles include “Performance of 5-Strand Hamstring Autograft Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction” and “Clinical Outcomes and Return to Sports After Open Reduction and Hamstring Tendon Autograft Reconstruction.”

Impact Factor: 7.010


Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma

The Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma provides the most cutting-edge information on techniques, surgical instruments and procedures, implants and prostheses/orthoses, as well as rehab and physical therapy. The journal is ​​​devoted to the diagnosis and management of spinal cord trauma and bone injuries, as well as injuries of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

These recent articles are especially noteworthy: “Clean Shot: Bacterial Contamination After Positive Pressure Irrigation of Low-Velocity Gunshot Wounds” and “Anterior Pelvic Ring Fracture Pattern Predicts Subsequent Displacement in Lateral Compression Sacral Fractures.”

Impact Factor: 2.884

Bookmark this resource for future reference

Too much information is only a bad thing when the information isn’t sound. Make this list your go-to resource any time you need peer-reviewed, specific research or are just looking for inspiration about musculoskeletal medicine.

Share the list with colleagues so they can bookmark it, too, and check out Exer’s other resources for your orthopedic surgery needs.

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