The Manuscript, see also Author Guidelines

The number of words should not exceed 3 300 (excluding title page, figure, and table legends and references but including abstract, max 250 words). Note word count on first manuscript page.

Title page

Acta prefers titles that are expressive rather than neutral. The title should include information on the scope of the investigation, e.g., the number of patients, the average follow-up, animal or cadaver experiments. The first name, middle initial(s), and last name of each author should be given with indication of departmental affiliations. The email address of the author responsible for correspondence regarding the manuscript must be given.


The abstract should not exceed 250 words. The abstract should be structured in 4 parts: Background (the problem, i.e the reason for the study) and purpose, Methods, Results, and Interpretation.


The nature of the problem should be briefly introduced with particular emphasis on the state of knowledge at the beginning of the investigation, followed by a clear description of the aims and the main hypothesis. The introduction should rarely exceed 1 typewritten page.

Patients and methods

It is important to specify exactly how, and during wich time period, the patients were selected. The patients must be described in detail so that there will be no questions about uncontrolled variables. Explain why some patients were dropped from the follow-up and whether or not they were representative of the primary series. For animals, the species, sex, age, breed, and physiologic state should be given. Describe in detail how the measurements were made and the techniques used.

Ethics, registration, funding and conflicts of interrest

Authors are responsible for recognizing and disclosing financial and other conflicts of interest that might bias their work. If any, they should be clearly stated in the manuscript on submission. When the manuscript is accepted for publication, authors are asked also to sign a conflict of interest statement. When a commercial company is involved it is important to declare whether the company planned the experiment, took part in data collection, analyses, interpretation of data or writing of the manuscript.
See also author guidelines


The main outcome of the experiment or the observations should be reported with reference to tables and figures where the details are documented; information concerning significance and other statistical data should be given in the tables and figures.
Do not give the same data in more than one way. When summarizing the data, always include measures of variability and the number of subjects. Give the median and range-e.g., 60 (35-70) years, the mean and standard deviation-59 (SD 15) years-and the frequencies for nominal data. The results of matched data should be given in relevant form (e.g., the distribution of pairwise differences). Percentages should not be used if the sample size is less than 100.


This section should contain a critical discussion of the results - e.g., the quality of the data (selection and information bias) and adequacy of the statistical analysis (confounding bias). It should also assess the relevant literature for or against the findings and if possible, the conclusions as regards clinical application or further research. Discuss, do not recapitulate, your results.

Contribution of authors

Describe in short what each author did (initials).


Technical or other help may be acknowledged.


Acta Orthopaedica uses the Vancouver system of reference formatting. However, we prefer the references to be cited by name and year (chronologically) of publication in the article text instead of sequentially numbered references. Thus, the references should be ordered alphabetically.

The style and abbreviations of journals should follow the style used in Index Medicus, also accessible at
All authors, not et al., should be given in the reference list.

References in the text
One author: (Penning 1968).
Two authors: (Coonrad and Pohlman 1969).
Three or more authors: (Ishiguro et al. 1978).

Article-Coonrad R W, Pohlman M H. Impacted fractures in the proximal portion of the proximal phalanx of the finger. J Bone Joint Surg (Am) 1969; 51 (7): 1291-6.

Article in electronic format-Morse SS. Factors in the emergence of infectious diseases. Emerg Infect Dis [serial online] 1995 Jan-Mar [cited 1996 Jun 5]; 1(1): [24 screens]. Available from

Book-Penning L. Functional pathology of the cervical spine: radiographic studies of function and dysfunction in congenital disorders, cervical spondylosis and injuries. Excerpta Medica Foundation, Amsterdam 1968.

Chapter-Allieu Y. External fixation in osteoarticular surgery of the hand. In: The hand (Ed. Tubiana R). W. B. Saunders Co. Philadelphia 1985; 2: 525-34.

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