BACKGROUND: Social media play an important role in everyday life including medical professional life. Societies like the Federation of European Societies for Surgery of the Hand (FESSH) are acknowledging social media's importance by establishing designated social media committees. No recent publication exists on the use of social media in and for hand surgery.
PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to analyse the current use of social media in and for hand surgery with respect on Instagram.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The 100 top-posts published on Instagram in July 2019 using the hashtags #handsurgery, #handsurgeon and #fessh were analysed regarding the author, the topic and kind of the post, the likes and comments on the post.
RESULTS: 101 of the 300 posts were posted by hand surgeons. The majority of posts (172 = 57.3 %) were self-promoting posts; 41 were for medical education. 199 (66.3 %) posts included 1 photo, 63 (21.0 %) two or more photos, and 38 (12.7 %) posts included a video. Video-posts and posts by hand therapists had the most likes and comments.
CONCLUSION: In hand surgery social media is used for self-promotions, but also for medical education. Video-posts are the preferred posts.