Airport security detection of metal hip implants : LUSENET : About Joints : One Thread

Two years ago I had a total hip replacement (metal). In view of the heightened security at airports would my implant be detected by newer metal detectors or by increased sensitivity of existing detectors?

-- Joel C. Hakesley (, October 18, 2001


Response to airport security detection of metal hip implants

At the heightened securtiy at airports it is possible that your implant could be detected. Our office gives out implant cards that identify you as a patient with a hip prosthesis. Your surgeon may have these as well for your use.

-- Dotsie Czajkowski RN (, October 30, 2001.

Response to airport security detection of metal hip implants

Reports on sensitivity of airport metal detectors to metal implants vary. Some patients find that their implants set off the metal detector; others find that their implant does not. This depends partly on the type of material used in the implant. Cromolyn cobalt is more magnetically active than titanium. Therefore, cromolyn cobalt component is more likely to set off the detector than a titanium one. It also depends on the body habitus of the person involved. A small, thin patient is more likely to set off the detector than a large, heavy patient. In any case, it is of no consequence because if you set off the detector, you inform the security personnel that you have a total joint, they will use the hand-held metal detector to scan your body for metal objects.

-- Marc Hungerford, M.D. (, February 08, 2002.

I have a Howmedica porous coated cementless total hip with plastic liner. It was quickly detected by security at the CNN Center in Atlanta while I was on tour.

Once discovered, they treated me to a behind the scenes private tour using elevators. The regular group used the stairs, while my family and I were treated like VIP's throughout the tour.

-- W.C. Ross (, February 26, 2004.

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