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Aims: Social media is a popular resource for patients seeking medical information and sharing experiences. periacetabular osteotomy (PAO) is the gold-standard treatment for symptomatic acetabular dysplasia with good long-term outcomes. However, little is known regarding the perceived outcomes of PAO on social media. The aims of this study were to describe the perceived outcomes following PAO using three social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, and X (formerly known as Twitter).

Methods: Facebook, Instagram, and X posts were retrospectively collected from 1 February 2023. Facebook posts were collected from the two most populated interest groups: “periacetabular osteotomy” and “PAO Australia.” Instagram and X posts were queried using the most popular hashtags: #PAOwarrior, #periacetabularosteotomy, #periacetabularosteotomyrecovery, #PAOsurgery, and #PAOrecovery. Posts were assessed for demographic data (sex, race, location), perspective (patient, physician, professional organization, industry), timing (preoperative vs postoperative), and perceived outcome (positive, negative, neutral).

Results: A total of 1,054 Facebook posts, 1,003 Instagram posts, and 502 X posts were consecutively assessed from 887 unique authors. The majority (63.3%) of these posts were from patients in the postoperative period, with a median of 84 days postoperatively (interquartile range 20 to 275). The longest follow-up timeframe postoperatively was 20 years. Regarding perceived outcomes, 52.8% expressed satisfaction, 39.7% held neutral opinions, and 7.5% were dissatisfied. Most dissatisfied patients (50.9%) reported pain (chronic or uncontrolled acute) as an attributing factor.

Conclusion: Most PAO-perceived surgical outcomes on social media had a positive tone. Findings also indicate that a small percentage of patients reported negative perceived outcomes. However, dissatisfaction with PAO primarily stemmed from postoperative pain. Social media posts from other sources (physicians, hospitals, professional organizations, etc.) trend towards neutrality. Healthcare providers must consider the social media narratives of patients following PAO, as they may reveal additional outcome expectations and help improve patient-centred care, create informed decision-making, and optimize treatment outcomes.


© 2024 Wells et al. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attributions (CC BY 4.0) licence (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium or format, provided the original author and source are credited.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Publication Title

Bone & Joint Open



Academic Level

medical student



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