Using Video to Explain Ankle Surgery to Patient

I took my father to the clinic for his preop visit. He's going to have ankle surgery. They showed us a videotape of the operation. I wonder how much older folks like Dad really get out of this. Wouldn't it be better if the nurse or doctor explained everything?


Using videotaped presentations before surgery is a fairly new idea in the world of health care. The advantage is that the information is consistent and complete. Nothing important is left out or forgotten. Older adults can control the volume on the TV so they can hear everything. They are less likely to ask a nurse or doctor to speak up.

A recent study was done comparing patient understanding and retention of preop information. Patients were divided into two groups. One group got the standard verbal information. The second group watched a videotape with information about risks, benefits, and other treatment options.

Everyone answered some questions in a survey given right after getting the information. They also filled out the same survey again 10 weeks later.

It turns out the videotape group had better understanding and recall of the material. Patients with less education did especially well compared to patients in the verbal group. You can probably reinforce the information you thought was important just by talking with your father about the video.

Wen Chao, MD, and Mark S. Mizel, MD. What's New in Foot and Ankle Surgery. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. April 2006. Vol. 88-A. No. 4. Pp. 909-922.


Our staff and patients are our top priority and we will be taking all the necessary precautions and following guidelines set out. We look forward to your next visit.