Rigorous implementation research is important for testing strategies to improve the delivery of effective osteoarthritis (OA) interventions. The objective of this manuscript is to describe principles of implementation research, including conceptual frameworks, study designs and methodology, with specific recommendations for randomized clinical trials of OA treatment and management. This manuscript includes a comprehensive review of prior research and recommendations for implementation trials. The review of literature included identification of seminal articles on implementation research methods, as well as examples of previous exemplar studies using these methods. In addition to a comprehensive summary of this literature, this manuscript provides key recommendations for OA implementation trials. This review concluded that to date there have been relatively few implementation trials of OA interventions, but this is an emerging area of research. Future OA clinical trials should routinely consider incorporation of implementation aims to enhance translation of findings. Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of Osteoarthritis Research Society International.