Reproducible research serves as a pillar of the scientific method and is a foundation for scientific advancement. However, estimates for irreproducibility of preclinical science range from 75% to 90%. The importance of reproducible science has not been assessed in the context of mechanics-based modeling of human joints such as the knee, despite this being an area that has seen dramatic growth. Framed in the context of five experienced teams currently documenting knee modeling procedures, the aim of this work was to evaluate reporting and the perceived potential for reproducibility across studies the teams viewed as important contributions to the literature. A cohort of studies was selected by polling, which resulted in an assessment of nine studies as opposed to a broader analysis across the literature. Using a published checklist for reporting of modeling features, the cohort was evaluated for both “reporting” and their potential to be “reproduced”, which was delineated into six major modeling categories and three subcategories. Logistic regression analysis revealed that for individual modeling categories, the proportion of “reported” occurrences ranged from 0.31, 95% confidence interval (CI) [0.23, 0.41] to 0.77, 95% CI [0.68, 0.86]. The proportion of whether a category was perceived as “reproducible” ranged from 0.22, 95% CI [0.15, 0.31] to 0.44, 95% CI [0.35, 0.55]. The relatively low ratios highlight an opportunity to improve reporting and reproducibility of knee modeling studies. Ongoing efforts, including our findings, contribute to a dialogue that facilitates adoption of practices that provide both credibility and translation possibilities.
Journal of Orthopaedic Research