The profile of orthopaedic sports medicine publishing in South Africa




Background: The South African Journal of Sports Medicine (SAJSM) and the South African Orthopaedic Journal (SAOJ) are two open access, peer-reviewed journals which provide ongoing education to the sports medicine community.

Objectives: The purpose of this review was to appraise articles with a sports orthopaedic focus published in SAJSM and SAOJ. A secondary aim was to evaluate trends regarding the focus of the articles, levels of evidence, authors’ affiliations, and country of origin. 

Methods: An electronic search of the SAJSM from 1982 to 2021 and SAOJ from 2008 to 2021 was conducted to identify relevant articles. The eligibility of the articles was determined according to the following inclusion criteria: SAJSM articles with reference to musculoskeletal anatomy and/or an injury in any sport, and SAOJ articles focusing specifically on sports, sports teams and low-velocity traumatic injuries in sports people. 

Results: This study included specific sports orthopaedic articles in SAJSM (n=161) and SAOJ (n=41). The articles originated from 67 institutions in 19 countries. In SAJSM, the majority of articles were published by local authors (n=44, 61%). There was a non-significant difference in the proportion of articles from local and international institutions in SAOJ. In SAJSM, the sports covered most frequently included rugby, cricket, running and soccer, whereas in SAOJ most articles referred to low-velocity injuries. With regard to trend analysis, a significant decline in articles with Level V evidence published by SAJSM was observed (p<0.001). Similarly, articles with Level V evidence published by SAOJ showed a decline, although it was non-significant.

Conclusion: The focus of SAJSM in particular is relevant to sports played, injury patterns and the healthcare resources for sports people in South Africa. The level of evidence published by SAJSM has improved significantly over time. 


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Author Biographies

Elise Schapkaitz, University of Witwatersrand

Department of Molecular Medicine and Haematology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Witwatersrand Medical School, Johannesburg, South Africa



David Levitt, Yeshiva University, New York, USA

Pre-Med Yeshiva College, Yeshiva University, New York, USA



How to Cite

Gelbart, B., Schapkaitz, E., & Levitt, D. (2022). The profile of orthopaedic sports medicine publishing in South Africa. South African Journal of Sports Medicine, 34(1).