YouTube provides poor information regarding anterior cruciate ligament injury and reconstruction Academic Article uri icon


  • YouTube is a global medium used predominantly by young adults (aged 18-49 years). This study examined the quality of YouTube information regarding ACL injury and reconstruction.YouTube was searched on the 13th of June 2015 for "ACL" and "anterior cruciate ligament" with/without associated terms of "injury", "reconstruction", and "surgery". Videos were evaluated by two independent reviewers [EF (Reviewer 1), (Reviewer 2)] using two recognized information scoring systems (Modified DISCERN (MD) 0-5 and JAMA Benchmark 0-4) and an adaptation of a score designed for written ACL information [ACL Specific Score (ASS) 0-25]. The ASS categorized scores as very good (21-25), good (16-20), moderate (11-15), poor (6-10), and very poor (0-5). Number of views/likes/dislikes, animation, and continent of origin and source (e.g., corporate/educational) were recorded. Correlation of video characteristics with number of views was examined using the analysis of variance (ANOVA) model. Agreement between reviewers was assessed by Interclass Correlation Co-efficient (ICC).Following a filtering process of the 964,770 identified videos, 39 videos were retained. The mean MD score was 2.3 (standard deviation (SD) ±0.9) for Reviewer 1 and 2.2 (SD ±0.9) for Reviewer 2 (ICC = 0.7). The mean JAMA score was 2.5(SD ±0.7) for Reviewer 1 and 2.3 (SD ±0.7) for Reviewer 2 (ICC = 0.8). The mean ASS was 6.3 (SD ±3.5) for Reviewer 1 and 4.6 (SD ±2.9) for Reviewer 2 (ICC = 0.9). Five videos achieved moderate score (13%), while 15 (38%) and 19 (49%) scored as poor and very poor, respectively. There was no correlation between number of views and video quality/video source for any scoring system.The majority of videos viewed on YouTube regarding ACL injury and treatment are of low quality.

publication date

  • 2018