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Total Joint Replacement Educational Series Part 17: Will Your Total Knee Replacement Implant Activate Airport Metal Detectors?

Posted Jan 18 2009 1:54am

·      Researchers discovered that patients with total knee replacements (TKR) are more likely to set off the security scanners at airports due to the metal in their implants, compared to those with total hip (THR) or other replacements.

·      90% of patients with one TKR experienced the implant setting off the detectors, and 100% of patients with bilateral knee replacements set off the detectors.

·      Unicompartmental (partial) replacements in either one or both knees did not activate the detectors.

·      A variety of trauma implants (which can be quite large) can go undetected due to how fast a person goes through the detector and/or and the positioning of the patient.

·      When the hand-held scanners are used, all implants/devices are detected.

·      The relevance of this study is that many patients are not warned about the prospect of setting off the detectors and the possibility of being individually scanned and examined. 

·      More than 60% of patients in the study felt anxious about setting off the scanner due to the public embarrassment of additional scanning and an exam.

·      More than 80% of patients of wished that they had received a card alerting airport personnel that they have a replacement so that they could bypass public scanners and be checked by individual scanners in private.

·      If you have a total joint replacement check with your orthopaedic surgeon to see if he/she has a card that you can carry in your wallet to avoid any hassle in the airport!

 

Rapp, Susan M.  "Most Patients Should Expect TKR Implants to Activate Airport Security Check Systems" Orthopedics Today: Joint Reconstruction(2008): 10.

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