History of Hand
Surgery Web sites
The appearance of web sites which relate
to hand surgery has been slow (Table 2).
Because the Internet does not leave a "paper trail", details are difficult
to verify, but it appears that the first hand surgery web site in the United
States went online in 1995, a brochure site for the Southeastern Hand Center
(60). The same year, a number of orthopedic
sites went online, including the first version of the Orthopedic Web Links
page. In 1996 and 1997, hand
surgery organizations in the USA and Europe went online (Table
2). 1998 saw hand surgery and therapy mail lists, both private and
open access, and a large number of additional hand surgery web sites appeared.
The majority of these were and still are practice brochure sites.
To date, hand surgery web sites remain a disparate and eclectic collection,
including individual practice brochure sites, pages produced by hospitals
or universities, sites representing hand surgery organizations, patient
authored sites (usually arising from personal experience with medical conditions),
and grassroots efforts to supply free hand surgery information exchange
online. It is difficult to determine the actual number of current hand
surgery web sites, but based on results of searching by keyword, page title,
URL, and text, I estimate the current figure to be no more than 500, most
of these being small practice brochures sites of orthopaedic, plastic,
and hand surgeons.