An assessment of the readability and quality of elective orthopaedic information on the Internet

Acta Orthop Belg. 2014 Jun;80(2):153-60.


This study assessed the readability and quality of websites related to; total hip replacement, total knee replacement and anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction using validated instruments. 225 websites were analyzed from Google, Yahoo and Bing. Readability was assessed using the Flesch Reading Ease Score and Flesch-Kincaid grade level. Quality was assessed using the LIDA tool, HON-code status and an original assessment tool. Only 13.7% were set at or below the recommended 6th grade readability level. 27.35% were HON-code certified. There was a wide variation in quality scores between websites and the information relating to the three procedures was inconsistent and generally of poor quality. Given the deficit in information it is important Orthopaedic surgeons provide patients with high quality, readable information or direct them to an appropriate source.

MeSH terms

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction*
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip*
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee*
  • Comprehension*
  • Elective Surgical Procedures
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Patient Education as Topic*