If you or a family member has a metal implant, just notify a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer prior to screening. That you've undergone hip or knee replacement surgery Even if you pass past the body scanner, the TSA officer may need to pat the region surrounding your joint. They do this to detect any metallic implants that might be hidden under clothing.
If you have a medical condition that requires a special check, such as a CAT scan, an x-ray, or an MRI scan, you will be asked to fill out a form called a "Medical Screening Form". You should bring this form with you to the airport so there are no delays during security screening.
You should also keep in mind that some countries have different regulations for travelers. For example, Canada requires that all passengers over 18 years old provide evidence of vaccination against measles, mumps, and rubella. If you come from one of these countries, it's best to find out what vaccines are required by other countries before traveling.
You may set off the airport metal detector if you have a hip or knee replacement, a metal plate and screws, a metal rod inside your bone, or one of many other types of orthopedic implants.
Scanners for Airport Security When passing through an airport security scanning system, about 90% of all implants from total knee or total hip arthroplasty will undoubtedly set off security alarms. Even if your implant only contains minimal amounts of metal, it will most certainly raise an alert. It is important to keep in mind that even non-metallic joints such as silicone and polyethylene can trigger an alarm. In fact, almost any type of prosthetic device may set off the scanner.
The best way to avoid this problem is by choosing titanium alloy instead of stainless steel for components that come into contact with blood. These include screws, plates, and pins. Other materials such as carbon fiber and nylon can also be used instead of steel.
If you have a metal hip and need to know how to fly with it, call your airline prior to your trip to make sure there are no restrictions. Some airlines will allow you to bring your own replacement parts rather than having to purchase new equipment. For example, OrthoCarbon can be brought on board in its original packaging and reused over and over again. This can be very helpful when trying to save money while still maintaining our orthopedic devices.
Over 90% of complete hip and knee arthroplasty devices implanted will set off airport metal detectors. Many implants now contain ceramic and plastic components in addition to metal, and the metal will very certainly set off the metal detector. The only way to verify whether or not an implant has been detected by the detector is to check its status on the screen. If it is red, it has detected something; if it is green, it has passed through.
The detection of orthopedic implants does not necessarily mean that you are prohibited from flying. It is merely an indication that you should seek additional information regarding your specific device. Some orthopedic implants are so small that they can pass through security undetected. However, certain orthopedic implants may require special handling due to their metallic content. For example, patients who have undergone heart valve replacements may need to be screened with an x-ray machine instead of going through the magnetometer. Patients who have had their hips or knees replaced should discuss with their doctor how they should be screened before traveling.
If you are concerned that your orthopedic implant might set off the detector, we recommend that you bring this information to your physician's attention. He or she may be able to advise you on what actions to take before traveling so that you can pass through security without issue.