Hip Arthroscopy: A Social Media Analysis of Patient Perception

Orthop J Sports Med. 2019 Jun 18;7(6):2325967119854188. doi: 10.1177/2325967119854188. eCollection 2019 Jun.


Background: The rate of hip arthroscopy has increased significantly in recent years, although understanding of patient perception remains limited.

Purpose: To analyze posts shared on Instagram and Twitter referencing hip arthroscopy to evaluate perspective, tone, timing, content, visibility, and location.

Study design: Cross-sectional study; Level of evidence, 3.

Methods: A search of public posts on Instagram and Twitter was performed over a 1-year period, selected through use of the following hashtags: #hiparthroscopy, #hipscope, and #labralrepair. A total of 1850 Instagram posts and 163 Twitter posts were included in the analysis. A categorical classification system was used for media format (picture or video), perspective (patient, family or friend, physician, hospital or physical therapy group, professional organization, news media, or industry), timing (preoperative, postoperative, nonoperative), perioperative period (within 1 week before or after surgery), tone (positive, negative, or neutral), and content (surgical site, hospital or surgeon, imaging, rehabilitation, activities of daily living (ADLs), return to work, surgical instruments, or education). Post popularity (number of likes) and geographic location were also recorded.

Results: Of the 1850 Instagram posts analyzed, 91.2% were made by patients, and 52.9% were positive. The most common content included in Instagram posts was rehabilitation, ADLs, and hospital or surgeon. A total of 163 Twitter posts were analyzed, with 59.0% of posts made by physicians. A majority of posts had a positive tone, and the most frequently referenced themes included education, hospital or surgeon, and rehabilitation. Overall, posts originated from 24 different countries.

Conclusion: The majority of patients who undergo hip arthroscopy have a positive tone when discussing their procedure. Posts commonly focused on rehabilitation, ADLs, hospital or surgeon, and education. This analysis provides insight into patient perspectives toward hip arthroscopy.

Keywords: Instagram; Twitter; hip arthroscopy; social media.