3 Tips for Traveling with Orthopaedic Implants
If you’ve had a partial or total joint replacement, you might wonder how it will affect you in your travels, especially in airports. Many people with orthopaedic implants think that they know what to expect in the airport, but they might get a few things wrong. So, here are some tips to make sure you have everything in order and catch that plane!
1 – Nix the X-Ray
As it turns out, the Travel Security Administration (TSA) does not actually recommend that you bring x-rays for proof of medical implants, and neither do we. It doesn’t make sense to remove an x-ray from your medical record to show the TSA at a metal detector—especially considering that they won’t count it as evidence, since a traveler could use another patient’s x-ray to trick agents.
2 – Utilize the TSA Notification Card
As the TSA website explains, travelers can use the TSA Notification Card to inform officers of medical implants. Passengers will still need additional screening, but notifying agents before metal detector alarms sound will decrease the likelihood of a public patdown, in favor of less intrusive screening (such as the use of imaging technology).
3 – Notify a TSO BEFORE the Checkpoint
You don’t want the Travel Security Officer finding out about your metal implant at the last second. Find out where the earliest possible point to communicate with a TSO is at your airport, and do so then. Again, use the TSA Notification card and save having to explain things for the whole airport to hear. Plan ahead and be prepared before getting to the airport. That way, you’ll know what to expect and, hopefully, won’t get caught off guard by any surprises.