The number of times an article has been cited in the peer-reviewed literature is indicative of its impact on its respective medical specialty. No study has used citation analysis to determine the most influential studies pertaining to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The primary aims of this study were to identify the classic works in ACL research using citation analysis and to characterize these articles to determine which types of studies have had the most influence on the field. A systematic query of ISI Web of Science (Thomson Reuters, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) was performed for articles pertaining to the ACL, and the 50 mostcited articles were selected for evaluation. The following characteristics were determined for each article: number of citations, citation density, journal, publication year, country of origin, language, article type, article subtype, and level of evidence. The number of citations ranged from 219 to 1073 (mean, 326), and the citation densities ranged from 4.9 to 55.6 citations per year (mean, 18.2). All articles were published in 1 of 11 journals, with the most being published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine (46%) and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery American (30%). The most common decades of publication were the 1990s (34%), 1980s (28%), and 2000s (26%). The majority (68%) of articles originated from the United States, and all were written in English. By article type, 42% were basic science, and 58% were clinical. Of the clinical articles, 3% were Level I, 17% were Level II, 28% were Level III, and 52% were Level IV. The articles were heterogeneous with regard to article type, article subtype, and level of evidence and tended to have the following characteristics: highimpact journal of publication, recent publication year, US origin, English language, and low level of evidence. These works represent some of the most popular scientific contributions to ACL research. This list may aid residency and fellowship programs in the compilation of articles for trainee reading curriculums.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine