PURPOSE: To compare orthopedics publications from USA, Japan and China. METHODS: Scientific papers belong to ''Orthopedics'' category of Science Citation Index Expanded subject categories were retrieved from the "PubMed'' and ''Web of Knowledge'' online databases. RESULTS: In the field of orthopedics, the annual number increased significantly from 2000 to 2012 in the three countries (p<0.001). The share of articles increased significantly in China, but decreased significantly in Japan and USA (p<0.05). In 2012, USA contributed 35.3% of the total world output in orthopedics field and ranked 1st; Japan contributed 5.9% and ranked 4th; China contributed 5.2% and ranked 5th. Publications from USA had the highest accumulated IFs and the highest total citations of articles (USA > Japan > China, p<0.001). Average IF from USA was much higher than Japan and China (p<0.001). USA published the most articles in the top ten orthopedics journals (USA (14355) > Japan (1702) > China (487), p<0.01). CONCLUSION: Although China has undergone significant increase in annual number and percentage of scientific publication in orthopedics journals, it still lags far behind USA and Japan in the field of orthopedics in terms of quantity and quality.