American Society for Peripheral Nerve
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Is Youtube a Reliable Source of Information for Cubital Tunnel Release?
Priya A Mansukhani, MD1; Ryan Jin, BS1; Isabel Herzog, BA2; Kailash Kapadia, MD1; Renata V Weber, MD3
1Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ; 2Rugters New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ; 3Rutgers - New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ

Introduction: Youtube is one of the most popular social platforms, often serving as a resource for patients. Cubital tunnel syndrome is the second most common peripheral nerve compression disorder; however, the reliability of relevant information available on Youtube regarding surgical treatments is unknown. Thus, this study serves to evaluate the comprehensiveness and quality of Youtube videos about cubital tunnel release.
Methods: Four search terms were utilized to identify videos discussing cubital tunnel surgery on Youtube: cubital tunnel surgery, cubital tunnel release, ulnar nerve decompression and ulnar nerve transposition in June 2022. Two reviewers used the modified Ensuring Quality Information for Patients (EQUIP) criteria to systematically score the top 50 videos on a scale of 0 to 27. Videos with a score above 15, the cutoff for the 75th percentile, were considered high quality. The average length, views and EQUIP score of the videos were compared based on search terms and authorship.
Results: A total of 130 unique videos were assessed with an average score of 12.1 (SE 0.39) overall. There was a significant difference between the mean scores of the four search terms (p<.001). Cubital tunnel surgery had the highest average score of 14.3 (SE 0.64), followed by cubital tunnel release with an average score of 13.5 (SE 0.62), ulnar nerve decompression with an average score of 11.8 (SE 0.57) and lastly, ulnar nerve transposition with an average score of 11.1 (SE 0.63). Physicians authored the majority of videos (53.6%) with an average score of 13.2 (SE 0.61 ), of which 75.7% were orthopedic surgeons and 18.6% were plastic surgeons, ironically matching the breakdown of orthopedic (72.1%) versus plastic (18.3%) hand surgeons nationwide. There was no significant difference in scores based on physician type. Of the 130 videos, only 40 had a score of 15 or greater, deeming them high quality. Physicians authored 77.5% of the high quality videos.
Conclusion: While Youtube is easily accessible to the general population, it lacks high quality medical education for cubital tunnel release. Due to the wide range of content in these Youtube videos, perhaps academic societies should have a vested interest in uploading videos to provide our patients with standardized information. Furthermore, future studies could analyze demographics of patients utilizing Youtube as an educational resource; the way information is presented could then be tailored accordingly.


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