Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 141–145 | Cite as

Social media for patients: benefits and drawbacks

  • Ivan De Martino
  • Rocco D’Apolito
  • Alexander S. McLawhorn
  • Keith A. Fehring
  • Peter K. Sculco
  • Giorgio Gasparini
Social Media and Orthopedics (P Sculco, section editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Social Media and Orthopedics


Purpose of review

Social media is increasingly utilized by patients to educate themselves on a disease process and to find hospital, physicians, and physician networks most capable of treating their condition. However, little is known about quality of the content of the multiple online platforms patients have to communicate with other potential patients and their potential benefits and drawbacks.

Recent findings

Patients are not passive consumers of health information anymore but are playing an active role in the delivery of health services through an online environment. The control and the regulation of the sources of information are very difficult. The overall quality of the information was poor. Bad or misleading information can be detrimental for patients as well as influence their confidence on physicians and their mutual relationship.


Orthopedic surgeons and hospital networks must be aware of these online patient portals as they provide important feedback on the patient opinion and experience that can have a major impact on future patient volume, patient opinion, and perceived quality of care.


Social media Social networking Web 2.0 Internet Patient-patient relations 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and animal rights and informed consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ivan De Martino
    • 1
  • Rocco D’Apolito
    • 2
  • Alexander S. McLawhorn
    • 2
  • Keith A. Fehring
    • 3
  • Peter K. Sculco
    • 2
  • Giorgio Gasparini
    • 4
  1. 1.Complex Joint Reconstruction Center, Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryHospital for Special SurgeryNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Adult Reconstruction and Joint Replacement Division, Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryHospital for Special SurgeryNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Hip & Knee CenterOrtho CarolinaCharlotteUSA
  4. 4.Orthopedic Surgery Division, Department of Medical and Surgical SciencesUniversity of Catanzaro Magna GræciaCatanzaroItaly

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