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   >>Website last updated: 06 February 2015

FAQs: Shoulder - Surgery

I have a shoulder replacement and want to know if airport metal detectors will detect my shoulder replacement?

Shoulder replacements tend to be made out of stainless steel, cobalt chrome or titanium. All have some ferrous in them which could be detected by airport metal detectors. Steel has more ferrous than cobalt chrome, which has more than titanium.

Whether a metal detector will detect your implant depends on the sensitivity settings on the detector. It is likely that a detector will pick up a steel or cobalt chrome implant.

Therefore it is advisable you get a letter or card from your surgeon confirming that you have a joint replacement.

One of our helpful readers has also wisely suggested the following:

1. Carry a letter from your doctor and/or consultant that you do indeed have a prosthesis, and where it is located

2. Be ready to *show* officials 'where' the scar is - so wear loose clothing

3. IF possible carry a small radiograph of the implanated prosthesis so that you can show this as well as the letter

4. Do be *prepared* for possible delays

5. Give yourself *Time* for these delays, especially if changing flights. Flight connections can be, and often are, hell, especially in Nth America. Allow for officious officialdom!

6. Remember, airport staff are only doing their job - be polite and patient!

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