Metal implants in the body, including joint replacements, plates, screws, and rods, can set off metal detectors at the airport. For many years, patients were given wallet-sized cards from their doctor to inform the security personnel of their implanted metal.
However, these cards are not needed, and seldom issued by physicians any longer. The reality is that security personnel will handle the fact that your implant set off the metal detector the same, regardless of whether or not you have an identification card. Patients with pacemakers are asked (but not required) to carry an ID card, but patients with orthopedic implants, including joint replacements, do not need a special identification card.
What happens when I set off the metal detector?
If your implanted metal sets off an airport metal detector, you will be asked to proceed with a secondary screening. This may consist of using a wand or a pat-down to ensure that the metal is inside your body.
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