Race- and ethnicity-based health disparities have been identified both in health care generally and in orthopaedics specifically. Despite this body of research, it remains unclear why these disparities exist. Research has been done on disparities in patients with cardiovascular disease and diabetes, as well as in patients who are candidates for hip or knee arthroplasty. With regard to disparities in orthopaedics, differences in the rates of total hip and knee replacement surgery have been studied the most extensively. To better understand health disparities in orthopaedics and in health care as a whole, patient-, provider-, and health care-related factors must be examined more fully.