Life Cycle Assessment in Orthopedics

Bella Pollice, Cassandra L. Thiel, Mark E. Baratz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Covid-19 has led to an increase in the use of PPE, gowns, masks, sanitizers, air circulators, and much more, all contributing to an increase in medical waste. Waste generation is one issue. Emissions are another. The two are linked because waste and emissions are both indicators of consumption. However, waste is not the biggest driver of environmental emissions for healthcare. It is the production of medical equipment, particularly disposables that have a bigger impact. Energy use during care, including heating and cooling our facilities, is another. Environmental emissions like greenhouse gases may not correlate with waste generation, especially if the waste is plastic. Carbon is stored in plastic. Unless you're burning plastic, you're not emitting carbon. Healthcare has a waste issue and healthcare has an emissions issue. They are not necessarily the same thing, however, the strategies to mitigate each overlap. Life cycle assessment quantifies emissions from the creation to disposal of medical supplies. This allows the medical community to make informed choices with respect to the methods and materials that are used in providing care. As other specialties take the lead in reducing their environmental footprint, so too, must orthopedic surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100998
JournalOperative Techniques in Orthopaedics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Assessment
  • Life Cycle
  • Operating Room
  • Orthopedics
  • Waste

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Life Cycle Assessment in Orthopedics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this