It is with great enthusiasm and pride that we release the first issue of the second volume of TOJ. In its 1-year existence, TOJ has become a relevant musculoskeletal science journal for the orthopaedic community in Texas and beyond. TOJ remains both an in-print and online journal. We have assembled an editorial board comprising a body of experts who provide the peer review that ensures the high quality of the manuscripts published. TOJ has become the official journal of the Texas Orthopaedic Association (TOA), and all TOA members receive a printed copy of TOJ and access to its online version.
In the pursuit of excellence, TOJ’s fledgling and ambitious publishing team has faced several challenges related to personnel changes and downsizing—challenges that have motivated us to become more competent with less. The outcome, although belated, has been excellent—the current TOJ contains manuscripts with Level I and Level II evidence, and the TOJ contributors constitute a truly international group of authors from USA, Egypt, Italy, and Greece.
As the Editors-in-Chief, we take particular pride in the fact that papers published in TOJ reflect contemporary publishing standards. All presently published TOJ papers, and, retroactively, previously published papers, will include digital CrossMark referencing in addition to digital object identifier (DOI) service. The CrossMark service enables the authors to submit updates to the previously published papers, and these changes can be tracked and followed by the reader in an online version of the TOJ. Beginning with the second volume of TOJ, we also designate the level of evidence for each study. Both these initiatives will provide the TOJ authors and readers the opportunity to maintain awareness of current development and discussion regarding the TOJ published studies.
To meet the demands of the modern publishing media, we have launched the mobile version of TOJ, which has appropriate formatting and scalability to match the display of typical digital phones, pads, and tablets. Our mobile platform is a convenient way to gain ad hoc access to TOJ contents while on-the-run or during a break. We are currently working to release a TOJ app available for free download for iOS and Android devices.
We realize that the value of TOJ is, indeed, its contents. Hence, we are particularly pleased with the papers in the current TOJ. In a lead paper, Winkler et al report on a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to assess the effectiveness of gabapentin for pain control and functional outcome in total knee arthroplasty (TKA) patients. This study provides Level I evidence that validates the effectiveness of gabapentin in TKA clinical practice. A subsequent paper, a prospective case-controlled study by Haleem et al, demonstrates that dual-mobility total hip arthroplasty does not provide superior hip range of motion or clinical outcomes compared to its 36-mm head counterpart. Next, Chaput et al, in a prospective cohort study, demonstrate that facet fusion can reliably occur after open transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion, does not require decortication of the articular surface or powerful biologics if the facet joints are stabilized with bilateral pedicle instrumentation, and does not appear to correlate with the patient’s functional outcome. In the following paper, Grimes in another prospective study, determines that mechanical cleaning of the foot is not necessary to improve the effectiveness of chlorhexidine in prepping a foot for surgery. Finally, a prospective case series by Katzouraki et al demonstrates that patient satisfaction rates for percutaneous transforaminal endoscopic discectomy (PTED) in the lumbar spine are comparable with microdiscectomy, while PTED requires shorter hospitalization and rehabilitation periods. Alongside the retrospective and experimental papers, the aforementioned original research papers represent a new quality of TOJ publications. Another new quality of our journal are the basic science, molecular papers published in the TOJ reviews—one elucidates the intricate complexity and/or mechanisms of bone morphogenetic protein functions; the other expounds on the innate antimicrobial peptides and their potential to combat orthopaedic infections. The TOJ case reports are, as usual, interesting and educational.
TOJ is enthusiastically working on the next issues and strongly encourages prospective authors to submit high-impact studies for fast-track online and semiannual in-print publication. With your support, TOJ will continue to serve as a forum that is valuable and relevant to the orthopaedic community at large.
Ronald W. Lindsey, MD
Zbigniew Gugala, MD, PhD