Systematic review of machine-learning models in orthopaedic trauma: an overview and quality assessment of 45 studies

On behalf of the Machine Learning Consortium, H. Dijkstra*, A. van de Kuit, T. de Groot, O. Canta, O. Q. Groot, J. H.F. Oosterhoff, J. N. Doornberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
31 Downloads (Pure)


Aims Machine-learning (ML) prediction models in orthopaedic trauma hold great promise in assisting clinicians in various tasks, such as personalized risk stratification. However, an overview of current applications and critical appraisal to peer-reviewed guidelines is lacking. The objectives of this study are to 1) provide an overview of current ML prediction models in orthopaedic trauma; 2) evaluate the completeness of reporting following the Transparent Reporting of a multivariable prediction model for Individual Prognosis Or Diagnosis (TRIPOD) statement; and 3) assess the risk of bias following the Prediction model Risk Of Bias Assessment Tool (PROBAST) tool. 

Methods A systematic search screening 3,252 studies identified 45 ML-based prediction models in orthopaedic trauma up to January 2023. The TRIPOD statement assessed transparent reporting and the PROBAST tool the risk of bias. 

Results A total of 40 studies reported on training and internal validation; four studies performed both development and external validation, and one study performed only external validation. The most commonly reported outcomes were mortality (33%, 15/45) and length of hospital stay (9%, 4/45), and the majority of prediction models were developed in the hip fracture population (60%, 27/45). The overall median completeness for the TRIPOD statement was 62% (interquartile range 30 to 81%). The overall risk of bias in the PROBAST tool was low in 24% (11/45), high in 69% (31/45), and unclear in 7% (3/45) of the studies. High risk of bias was mainly due to analysis domain concerns including small datasets with low number of outcomes, complete-case analysis in case of missing data, and no reporting of performance measures. 

Conclusion The results of this study showed that despite a myriad of potential clinically useful applications, a substantial part of ML studies in orthopaedic trauma lack transparent reporting, and are at high risk of bias. These problems must be resolved by following established guidelines to instil confidence in ML models among patients and clinicians. Otherwise, there will remain a sizeable gap between the development of ML prediction models and their clinical application in our day-to-day orthopaedic trauma practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-19
Number of pages11
JournalBone and Joint Open
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16-Jan-2024


Dive into the research topics of 'Systematic review of machine-learning models in orthopaedic trauma: an overview and quality assessment of 45 studies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this