Inclusive Orthopaedics Initiative

As part of our Diversity and Inclusion strategy we are committed to stimulate cultural change and improve diversity and inclusion across Trauma and Orthopaedics. As part of this work we want to challenge the status quo by joining up with industry on making orthopaedic tools more inclusive.

Research demonstrates that the optimal size and grip strength for tool design in men and women are different. However the single size tools available are designed using ‘standard’ (male) ergonomics which results in repetitive strain injuries, and discomfort for many people with smaller hand sizes.  There is a real opportunity for innovation and development in this space given that women make up 7% of orthopaedic consultants, 20% of trainees and over 50% of medical students, so the need for a more diverse range of tools will continue to rise.  In addition to helping women, this change could help others who have had to adapt to the one size fits all approach, for example left-handed surgeons, those with disabilities, or those that generally struggle with heavyweight power tools.

We want to work with orthopaedic companies to utilise their expertise and join with us in this initiative in the following ways:

  • We want to open a dialogue with the industry.  We intend initial discussions to lead to an ongoing dialogue with orthopaedic tool companies providing regular updates and presentations on development and progress through the BOA Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
  • We will seek an industry wide commitment to designing inclusive and ergonomically favourable tools for the entire orthopaedic workforce by the next BOA Congress.
  • We will underpin this work through a collaborative research initiative ‘Size Matters - Ergonomics for Inclusive Orthopaedics’ to collect data on our workforce’s needs and optimal tool ergonomics to set new industry standards.  The research to be jointly funded and commissioned by BOA and orthopaedic tool companies. 

We have recently written to industry leaders about this initiative inviting them to partner with the BOA on our research and get their commitment to designing inclusive and ergonomically favourable tools for the entire orthopaedic workforce. We have received some excellent responses so far and are looking forward to taking this work forward. You can read our full letter below.

Inclusive Orthopaedics 2022