BACKGROUND : To investigate the publications rates and characteristics of the authors for manuscripts originating from Australia in the 15 highest ranked orthopaedic journals over a 5-year period. METHODS : The 15 highest ranked journals in orthopaedics, based on their 2015 impact factor, were used to establish the total number of publications and cumulative impact factor points between January 2010 and December 2014. The affiliations of the primary author and co-authors were used to determine the involvement of Australian trained orthopaedic surgeons. Study location, research topic and anatomic areas were recorded. RESULTS : A total of 478 publications were identified; 110 of these manuscripts were principally authored by Australian trained orthopaedic surgeons or medical professionals affiliated with orthopaedics. In addition, 158 articles were published with orthopaedic surgery involvement where one of the co-authors was an Australian trained surgeon. Australian orthopaedic surgeon (FRACS) involvement was most commonly observed in the knee (n = 90; 33.6%) followed by the hip (n = 69; 25.7%) and basic sciences (n = 27; 10.1%). Surgeons in Sydney had the highest number of publications (n = 95; 35.4%), followed by Adelaide (n = 55; 20.5%) and Melbourne (n = 54; 20.1%). CONCLUSION : The results of this study demonstrate that the minority (23%) of the publications originating from Australia in the 15 highest-ranking orthopaedic journals were principally authored by either an Australian trained surgeon or a trainee surgeon. A total of 59% of the publications focused on the hip and knee. Sydney was the leading region, followed by Adelaide and Melbourne. These three regions published 76% of all manuscripts identified during the 5-year study period.