I love Google! But Not for Orthopedic Surgery.

Google is great! It has allowed us instant access to a great deal of information. In the past, we would go to the library or look in the Encyclopedia to get quality information. Now it is just a click or two away. The problem, when dealing with health information, is that the wrong information can lead to further injury. So why should you be cautious with Google or any search engine? First, anyone can publish on Google. The information is not checked and may or may not have any scientific basis. Orthopedic surgeons have nine years of training after medical school and are continually evaluated, fine-tuning their knowledge on a daily basis. We look at the information and data very carefully to make sure it is accurate and up to date. Secondly, utilizing Google can lead to “Cyberchondriasis,” which is a form of anxiety resulting from the medical information given on the internet. Type “knee pain” into Google and you will get many results ranging from bruising to having cancer in the knee. We have enough anxiety in life without have to worry about this. Third, and perhaps most important, is the correct diagnosis. When a correct diagnosis is made, your recovery should be rapid, made safely and will prevent further injury which might not be correctable or give you less than optimal results.

The good news is there are some reputable websites out there should you need to reference their materials. A great place to start is right here – our blog! Like myself, many of our physicians write informational blogs addressing common questions we receive from our patients. Another resourceful and comprehensive website is www.AAOS.org (American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons), which is voted as one of the best websites in medicine every year. Some other specialty societies for the spine, shoulder, hip, knee, and ankle can also have a wealth of quality information.

So, use the internet wisely, avoid Cyberchondriasis, and when appropriate, visit an Orthopedic Surgeon. It might just prevent a delayed diagnosis and treatment that may lead to less than optimal results. Good luck.

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