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Thread: Finally some data on aiport detection of spinal implants

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Finally some data on aiport detection of spinal implants

    Detection of Modern Spinal Implants by Airport Metal Detectors

    Grevitt, Michael P; Chinwalla, Fahad

    Spine., POST ACCEPTANCE, 24 April 2012


    Study Design. Prospective cohort observational study

    Objective. To determine the detection rates of modern spinal implants by post 9/11 airport metal detectors

    Summary of Background Data. There are few data on the detection rates of modern spinal implants and few that examine the effects of body mass, construct complexity or implant density.

    Methods. Implants were tested ex-vivo and in-vivo using standard Arch Way Metal Detectors (AMDs) and Handheld Metal Detectors (HHMDs) in use at the majority of European airports.

    A volunteer carried individual spinal implants both individually and in various combinations of increasing mass in clothing pockets into the AMD. The same instrumentation was bench tested using HHMD at a distance of 5 cms.

    Forty patients with modern spinal implants were tested: lumbar disc replacement (n = 8), cervical disc replacement (1), posterior deformity instrumentation (17), anterior deformity instrumentation (2), anterior reconstruction (2), PLIF (6), inter-spinous distraction device (1), anterior cervical plate (2) anterior lumbar interbody fusion with cage (1), All implants were titanium unless indicated. Mean metal mass was 98g (range 6-222g).

    Subject ages ranged from 13 to 65 years and the mean Body Mass Index (BMI) was 25 kg/m2 (range 15 to 32)

    Results. Ex-vivo the AMD did not detect any instrumentation individually or in combination up to a titanium mass of 215g. The HHMD detected all instrumentation at a distance of 5cm; with the minimum mass being 2g.

    No implants were detected in patients by the AMD.

    The HHMD did not detect any anterior lumbar or thoracic surgical implants. It detected anterior cervical implants. The HHMD detected all posterior surgical implants. There was no significant relationship between detection rate, BMI, total metal mass, and metal density/segment.

    Conclusion. AMD detectors do not detect modern spinal implants. HHMD detect all modern posterior spinal implants; this has implications for patient documentation.

    (C) 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine

    "We are all African."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Lowcountry, SC
    No data on the imaging scanners?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    New Bern, NC
    The imaging scanners can detect the spinal implants 100% of the time. I have been through them twice, once without a word and the second time at a different airport, they patted down my back.
    Diagnosed with severe lumbar scoliosis at age 65.
    Posterior Fusion L2-S1 on 12/4/2007. age 67
    Anterior Fusion L3-L4,L4-L5,L5-S1 on 12/19/2007
    Additional bone removed to decompress right side of L3-L4 & L4-L5 on 4/19/2010
    New England Baptist Hospital, Boston, MA
    Dr. Frank F.

    "In God We Trust" Happy moments, praise God. Difficult moments, seek God. Quiet moments, worship God. Painful moments, trust God. Every moment, thank God.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern California
    I've been hand scanned every time I've been through security since they started using the imaging scanners.
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    East Central FL
    We were really curious about what would happen with the scanners & opted not to discuss it before he went through. We did arrive earlier the first time Jacob flew, just in case. Chromium cobalt rods & titanium screws didn't set off the archway scanners, and not a peep from anyone during the full body scans.
    Mom of 14yo son diagnosed Oct 2011
    Surgery 1/3/12 w Dr. Geof Cronen,
    Tampa General Hospital T3 to L1
    Jacob's pre surg curves: T58 & L31 12/28/11
    photos & xrays in "First-Time Surgery" thread "Before & After"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Yacolt, WA
    I went through a hand held scanner in the Mumbai, India airport after having a titanium fibular implant. I do not remember if i went through an arch scanner first. Needless to say, it beeped loudly. I tried to explain it as I showed her my bare ankle and pointed to the scars. She couldn't figure it out as her English was limited.

    Documentation would have been helpful. Susan
    Adult Onset Degenerative Scoliosis @65, 25* T & 36* L w/ 11.2 cm coronal balance; T kyphosis 90*; Severe disc degen T & L stenosis

    2013: T3- S1 Fusion w/ ALIF L4-S1/XLIF L2-4, PSF T4-S1 2 surgeries
    2014: Hernia @ ALIF repaired; Emergency screw removal Spinal Cord Injury T4,5 sec to PJK
    2015: Revision Broken Bil T & L rods and no fusion: 2 revision surgeries; hardware P. Acnes infection
    2016: Ant/Lat Lumbar diskectomy w/ 4 cages + BMP + harvested bone
    2018: Removal L5 screw

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