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Observational Studies in Orthopaedic Surgery: The STROBE Statement as a Tool for Transparent Reporting
Lindsey C. Sheffler, MD, MAS1; Brad Yoo, MD2; Mohit Bhandari, MD, MSc, FRCSC3; Tania Ferguson, MD2
1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, 500 Parnassus Avenue, MU 320W, San Francisco, CA 94143-0728. E-mail address for L.C. Sheffler: shefflerl@orthosurg.ucsf.edu
2 University of California, Davis Medical Center, 4860 Y Street, ACC 3800, Sacramento, CA 95817
3 293 Wellington Street North, Suite 110, Hamilton, ON L8L 8E7, Canada
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Investigation performed at the University of California, Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, California

Disclosure: None of the authors received payments or services, either directly or indirectly (i.e., via his or her institution), from a third party in support of any aspect of this work. One or more of the authors, or his or her institution, has had a financial relationship, in the thirty-six months prior to submission of this work, with an entity in the biomedical arena that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. No author has had any other relationships, or has engaged in any other activities, that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. The complete Disclosures of Potential Conflicts of Interest submitted by authors are always provided with the online version of the article.

Copyright © 2013 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2013 Feb 06;95(3):e14 1-12. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.L.00484
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Evidence-based medicine in orthopaedic surgery comprises predominantly observational studies. While the gold standard of study methodology is considered to be randomized controlled trials (RCTs), observational studies provide valuable information regarding disease prevalence and etiology, rare outcomes, and adverse treatment effects. Orthopaedic surgeons care for many diseases and injuries that are rare and will likely never be the subject of an RCT. Given the bias to which observational studies are prone, however, transparent reporting is imperative. The Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) statement is a checklist of items that can help clinician-scientists to improve the transparency with which observational studies are reported. We offer the following guidelines and examples for how the STROBE statement can be applied to reporting observational studies in orthopaedic surgery.
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