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.