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Clinical news alert from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Airport security screening has increased substantially during the past decade, while joint replacement procedures also continue to rise. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), in 2009, nearly 300,000 total hip replacements (THR) were performed in the United States. A new study, "Detection of Total Hip Prostheses at Airport Security Checkpoints: How Has Heightened Security Affected Patients," appearing in the April 4, 2012 issue of the JBJS, provides an analysis of current security measures on patients who have had a THR.

  • A consecutive series of 250 patients at the Sinai Hospital of Baltimore were surveyed and assessed about their THR. Of the 209 patients who returned the survey, 143 reported passing through airport security within the 12 months preceding the clinic visit. Travelers averaged 56 years of age.
  • 120 travelers, or 84 percent of survey respondents, reported triggering the alarm an average of four times. The patients who had a single hip implant had a significantly lower trigger rate, 80 percent, (66 of 82 patients) compared with those that had two hip implants, 95 percent (37 of 39 patients).
  • In addition to undergoing the mandatory inspection with a handheld metal detector, 25 patients reported having to undergo further inspection. 20 of these 25 extra measures were taken at airports within the US.
  • 128 patients, or 90 percent, reported having a card from either the manufacturer or surgeon identifying them as a recipient of a prosthetic joint.
  • 99 of the 143 patients, or 69 percent, indicated that the prosthetic joint caused an inconvenience while traveling by air.

The authors conclude that full body scanners, when available, offer a solution for some of these travelers. Patients should be counseled that they should expect delays and be prepared for such inconveniences, but know that these are often only momentary. This study aims to relieve some anxiety and concerns that patients may have prior to traveling. THR patients should plan and allow for extra time when a security checkpoint must be passed.

April 4th JBJS Full Table of Contents

Cemented versus Uncemented Hemiarthroplasty: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Prospective Multicenter Study of Legg- Calv-Perthes Disease: Functional and Radiographic Outcomes of nonoperative Treatment at Mean 20 Year Follow-Up

Anterior Shoulder Instability Associated with Coracoid Nonunion in Epileptics

Serum and Synovial Fluid Analysis for Diagnosing Chronic Periprosthetic Infection in Patients with Inflammatory Arthritis

A Mouse Model of Massive Rotator Cuff Tears

Gritti-Stokes Amputation in the Trauma Patient: Clinical Comparisons and Subjective Outcomes

Adipose-Derived Stem-Cell Treatment of Skeletal Muscle Injury

Anatomical and Functional Results after Arthroscopic Hill-Sachs Remplissage

Long-Term Results After Gastrocnemius-Soleus Intramuscular Aponeurotic Recession as a Part of Multilevel Surgery in Spastic Diplegic Cerebral Palsy

The Outcome of Cemented Rotating-Platform Total Knee Arthroplasty at a Minimum Ten-Year Follow-up

Surgical and Functional Outcomes after Operative Management of Complex and Displaced Intra-Articular Glenoid Fractures

Plantar Approach for Excision of Morton's Neuroma. A Long Term Follow-Up Study


Contact: Lauren Pearson
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

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