By J. Sybil Biermann, MD
This following list is a compilation of some of the
best orthopaedic patient education sites and some of the most
well-known health information sites. Taking into account the expansive
and dynamic nature of the Internet, any list of this sort cannot
be comprehensive, and some excellent sites may be absent. Information
and critiques are based on accessing of web sites between April
15, 1999 and July 2, 1999.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Author: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Description: A thorough, well-organized list of information with easy to understand information on symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of common orthopaedic conditions.
Author: the Arthritis Foundation
Description: Fact sheets available on a wide variety of nonsurgical topics frequently not addressed by surgeons. Also, good detail on a wide variety of arthritis
Author: Website states that it "relies on many dedicated medical professionals" under the direction of CEO, former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, MD.
Description: Site dedicated to medical information on a wide variety of topics with standardized headings for organization. Patient education materials on orthopaedic topics mainly limited to arthritis (RA and OA), low back pain and osteoporosis. Chat rooms and message boards.
Interactive Orthopaedic Patient Education
Author: Randale Sechrest, private practice orthopaedic surgeon
Description: Patient education materials with excellent graphics, easy-to-read descriptions of common orthopaedic maladies. Lots of links to pictures or other graphics. Comprehensive, readable explanations of both operative and nonoperative conditions.
National Cancer Institute: Cancernet
Author: Consensus Statements
Description: Presents peer-reviewed, up-to-date relevant information for patients with primary and metastatic musculoskeletal malignancies in a general, not institutionally directed fashion. Best general information for the orthopaedic oncology patient.
National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Consumer Health Information
Description: A government-sponsored site which features recent news releases, peer-reviewed consensus statements, MEDLINE searching and clinical trials databases on arthritis and musculoskeletal diseases.
Authors: not listed, no credits
Description: Patient level information on selected topics, heavy on arthritis and surgical treatments.
Author: Johns Hopkins Health Information Service.
Description: Information from Johns Hopkins, physician interviews, a wide variety of other sources. A broad-based patient information site. Very frequent updates and good for "current events" in health. Good search capabilities.
New York Online Access to Health (NOAH)
Author: Varied according to page linked.
Description: A link page for health topics, started and maintained with federal grants and other philanthropy, now maintained by federal and state nonprofit organizations. Although a general health resource, it has some great sections on orthopaedic topics.
Orthopaedic Web Links
Author: Myles Clough
Description: Extremely thorough link page to a wide variety of sources of patient education materials.
Southern California Orthopaedic Institute
Author: not stated, presumably members of the SCOI
Description: Brief blurbs on orthopaedic conditions and procedures in easy-to-read script with nice basic diagrams. Mainstream information.
University of Washington Orthopaedic Physicians
Author: University of Washington faculty.
Description: General information articles with up-to-date information on selected orthopaedic topics.
J. Sybil Biermann, MD, is assistant professor of surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.