Repeated Noise Exposure Does Not Reach Hazardous Levels during Total Joint Arthroplasty

Sean E. Slaven, Benjamin M. Wheatley, Daniel L. Christensen, Sameer K. Saxena, Robert J. McGill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction Noise exposure is an occupational health concern for certain professions, especially military servicemembers and those using power tools on a regular basis. The purpose of this study was to quantify noise exposure during total hip arthroplasty (THA) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA) cases compared to the recommended standard for occupational noise exposure. Materials and Methods A sound level meter was used to record cumulative and peak noise exposure levels in 10 primary THA and 10 primary TKA surgeries, as well as 10 arthroscopy cases as controls. Measurements at the distance of the surgeon were taken in all cases. In TKA cases, measurements were taken at 3 feet and 8 feet from the surgeon, to simulate the position of the anesthetist and circulating nurse, respectively. Results Time-weighted average was significantly higher in THA (64.7 ± 5.2 dB) and TKA (64.5 ± 6.8 dB) as compared to arthroscopic cases (51.1 ± 7.5 dB, P < 0.001) and higher at the distance of the surgeon (64.5 ± 6.8 dB) compared to the anesthetist (52.9 ± 3.8 dB) and the circulating nurse (54.8 ± 11.2 dB, P = 0.006). However, time-weighted average was below the recommended exposure level of 85 dB for all arthroplasty cases. Peak levels did not differ significantly between surgery type or staff role, and no values above the ceiling limit of 140 dB were recorded. Surgeon’s daily noise dose percentage per case was 1.78% for THA and 2.04% for TKA. Conclusion Noise exposure in THA and TKA was higher than arthroscopic cases but did not exceed occupational standards. A daily dose percentage of approximately 2% per case indicates that repeated noise exposure likely does not reach hazardous levels in modern arthroplasty practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E1551-E1555
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2020
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Repeated Noise Exposure Does Not Reach Hazardous Levels during Total Joint Arthroplasty'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this