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