Consumer Interest in Total Ankle Replacements Over the Last 10 Years: A Google Trends™ Analysis From 2009 to 2019

Published:November 25, 2022DOI:


      With an aging population, the incidence of osteoarthritis (OA) continues to grow. After exhausting conservative therapy for many forms of OA, patients regularly opt for surgical intervention in the form of total joint replacement surgery. One form, total ankle replacement, has continued to gain favorability in the medical community. Improved implant design and surgical technique have enabled success rates of total ankle replacements to approach those of the hip and knee. As a new and improving therapy to address end-stage ankle OA, knowledge of patient-interest has yet to be determined. We used search inquiry data for the keywords “ankle arthritis” “ankle replacement” and “ankle fusion” available from Google Trends™ to identify trends in patient and geographic interest from 2009 to 2019. Search inquiries significantly increased for all keywords over time (p < .001). Trend analysis over this 10-year period revealed a strong correlation for ankle arthritis (0.88) and ankle replacement (0.76). Moreover, the correlation between “ankle arthritis” and “ankle replacement” was strong (0.83) during this period. The geographic distribution of these search terms showed the greatest increase in interest for the keywords “ankle arthritis” “ankle replacement” and “ankle fusion” in Arizona, New York, and Virginia respectively. Results of this study illustrate a similar increasing patient interest in ankle arthritis and ankle replacements. This data can be used effectively identify, educate, and treat populations interested in ankle replacements. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to utilize Google Trends™ to analyze patient interest in foot and ankle surgery.

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