Researchers suggest that body scanners may offer a solution to travelers passing through airport security with total hip replacements (THRs). According to a recent news release, airport security screening has increased substantially during the past decade. The new study was designed to provide providing an analysis on current security measures and their impact on THR patients. Researchers say the study also aims to provide relief for anxiety and concerns that patients may have prior to traveling by air.

The study reports that a consecutive series of 250 patients at Sinai Hospital, Baltimore, were surveyed and assessed regarding their THR. Among the 209 patients who returned the survey, 143 patients reported that they had traveled through airport security within the last 12 months preceding their clinic visit.

The results indicate that 84% of survey respondents reported triggering the alarm an average of 4 times. Patients with a single hip replacement exhibited an 80% trigger rate, compared to a 95% trigger rate exhibited in patients with two hip implants. Participants also reported that in addition to undergoing the mandatory inspection with a handheld metal detector, 25 patients had to undergo further inspection.

Researchers add that 90% of respondents reported having a card from either the manufacturer or surgeon identifying them as a recipient of a prosthetic joint. The results note that 69% of patients suggested that the prosthetic joint caused an inconvenience while traveling by air. 

The study appears in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

Source: Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery