Background: Several studies have analyzed the most cited articles in shoulder, elbow, pediatrics, and foot and ankle surgery. However, no study has analyzed the quality of the most cited articles in elbow medial ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) surgery. Purpose: To (1) identify the top 50 most cited articles related to UCL surgery, (2) determine whether there was a correlation between the top cited articles and level of evidence, and (3) determine whether there was a correlation between study methodological quality and the top cited articles. Study Design: Systematic review. Methods: Web of Science and Scopus online databases were searched to identify the top 50 cited articles in UCL surgery. Level of evidence, number of times cited, year of publication, name of journal, country of origin, and study type were recorded for each study. Study methodological quality was analyzed for each article with the Modified Coleman Methodology Score (MCMS) and the Methodological Index for Non-randomized Studies (MINORS). Correlation coefficients were calculated. Results: The 50 most cited articles were published between 1981 and 2015. The number of citations per article ranged from 20 to 301 (mean ± SD, 71 ± 62 citations). Most articles (92%) were from the United States and were level 3 (16%), level 4 (58%), or unclassified (16%) evidence. There were no articles of level 1 evidence quality. The mean MCMS and MINORS scores were 28.1 ± 13.4 (range, 3-52) and 9.2 ± 3.6 (range, 2-19), respectively. There was no significant correlation between the mean number of citations and level of evidence or quality (rs = –0.01, P =.917), MCMS (rs = 0.09, P =.571), or MINORS (rs = –0.26, P =.089). Conclusion: The top 50 cited articles in UCL surgery constitute a low level of evidence and low methodological quality, including no level 1 articles. There was no significant correlation between the mean number of citations and level of evidence or study methodological quality. However, weak correlations were observed for later publication date and improved level of evidence and methodological quality.
- Tommy John
- quality of evidence
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine