Clinical application of robotic orthopedic surgery: a bibliometric study

BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2021 Nov 22;22(1):968. doi: 10.1186/s12891-021-04714-7.


Objectives: The present study aimed to evaluate the status and trends of robotic orthopedic surgery in a clinical setting using bibliometrics.

Methods: All relevant publications on the clinical use of robotic surgery in orthopedics were searched from the Web of Science database. Subsequently, data were analyzed using bibliometrics. Visualizing data of bibliographic coupling, co-citation, and co-occurrence analysis were performed using VOSviewer.

Results: In total, 224 clinical studies met the included standards between 2000 to 2019. Global publications presented an increasing annual trend, with the United States found to have the largest number of publications and robotic companies active in the field (n = 99), followed by China (n = 38), and the United Kingdom (n = 27). The institution with the most contributions was the Beijing Jishuitan Hospital in China (n = 15). The most productive scholars were Tian Wei and Mont Michael A, with 14 publications each. The top 30 most cited papers list showed 29 publications to be cited on more than 40 occassions. The journal with the most related and influential publications on robotic orthopedic surgery was the Journal of Arthroplasty. Fourteen types of robots were used, with the majority applied in knee and spinal surgery. MAKO was the most widely used robot in hip and knee surgery and Mazor in spinal surgery. Most studies were small sample populations of low-quality in this field. The top 20 most frequently used keywords were identified from 950 author keywords. Research on orthopedic robots were classified into two clusters by co-occurrence networks: spinal-related robotic surgery and joint-related robotic surgery.

Conclusions: The present bibliometric study summarizes the clinical research of orthopedic robots on study type, sample size, type of surgery, robot information, surgical site, most popular keywords, most cited papers, journals, authors, institutions, and countries. These findings may assist the scholars better understand the current status and research trends to guide future practice and directions.

Keywords: Bibliometrics; Orthopedics; Research; Robotic surgical procedures.

MeSH terms

  • Bibliometrics
  • Humans
  • Orthopedic Procedures*
  • Orthopedics*
  • Robotic Surgical Procedures* / adverse effects
  • Robotics*
  • United States