The clinical application of evidence-based medicine is influenced by the quality of the published literature. Journals assign objective levels of evidence to articles to describe the quality and reliability of individual articles. Studies assigned levels I to III are considered higher quality studies. This study reviewed 60 continuous years of the American edition of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery to analyze trends in the quality of research published by U.S. military orthopaedic surgeons. Three hundred and six of 371 identified articles were assigned a level of evidence from I to V. These were then analyzed to determine if military orthopaedic surgeons were producing higher quality studies over time. Over time, the total number of articles published decreased. However, the number of higher quality studies and average level of evidence per decade improved over time. This trend toward publishing higher quality studies is consistent with the general orthopaedic community and highlights the need for continued work by the military orthopaedic community to conduct higher quality studies.
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