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Doctor insights on: I Have Metal Screws In My Back From A Spine Fusion Will I Be Able To Go Through A Metal Detector At The Airport

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I have metal screws in my back from a spine fusion. Will I be able to go through a metal detector at the airport?

I have metal screws in my back from a spine fusion. Will I be able to go through a metal detector at the airport?

Alarm may go off: Surgical plates and screws may be detected by airport passenger scanners, so one should carry a doctor's explanation when traveling, in case an alarm is triggered. ...Read more

Dr. Thomas Dowling
1,119 Doctors shared insights

Spinal Fusion (Definition)

Surgery to cause two or more spine segments to be joined together through a growth of bone initiated by the placement of bone tissue or graft taken from the patient or from a donor source or even a manufactured source which could include: bone growth proteins and particulate structures that act as scaffolds for bone to grow on and may include implants or instrumentation ...Read more


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If I have a spine fusion surgery using metal screws and rods, will they ever need to be removed?

Usually Not: Following successful spine fusion, the instrumentation typically remains. Conditions such as a deep infection, nonhealing fusion, and on rare occasion, painful/prominent instrumentation may be treated by removal of the instrumentation. ...Read more

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I just had screws placed in my ankles after surgery. Will it set off the metal detector at the airport?

I just had screws placed in my ankles after surgery. Will it set off the metal detector at the airport?

Unlikely...: That you will set off the metal detectors. My group did the largest study on this and found that no implants set off the gate type detectors, but depending on the size of the hardware they could be detected in some cases by wand-type detectors. The reference is:

bluman et al (2006): detectability of commonly used foot and ankle implants by security screening devices. Foot ankle int 26:1096-1102. ...Read more

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Can loosening screws in spine fusion be dangerous?

Can loosening screws in spine fusion be dangerous?

Possibly: Ask your orthopedic surgeon who is in the best position to answer this question. ...Read more

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Plates and screws used in cervical spine fusion. Are they designed to last more than 50 years? I'm so worried im only 30 years. What kinda problems?

Plates and screws used in cervical spine fusion. Are they designed to last more than 50 years? I'm so worried im only 30 years. What kinda problems?

No worries: The instrumentation is needed to help stabilize the spine until the fusion occurs (3-4 months). After that, the instrumentation is very unlikely to fail. ...Read more

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I have a pacemaker and accidently walked through the metal detector at the airport. Could my pacemaker unit be damaged?

I have a pacemaker and accidently walked through the metal detector at the airport. Could my pacemaker unit be damaged?

No.: The metal detector does not affect the functioning of a pacemaker. The only thing that will affect it is a strong magnet, which the metal detectors In the airports don't have. You'll be OK no need to panic. ...Read more

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If someone has a total hip replacement or other hip surgery that uses some metal, how does this work when going through metal detector @ airport?

If someone has a total hip replacement or other hip surgery that uses some metal, how does this work when going through metal detector @ airport?

Need addit screening: Joint repair hardware will likely set off the alarm. TSA doesn't care about the card that says you have hardware. You should let them know going in that you have a joint replacement and they will figure out how to screen you, depending on airport.

http://orthopedics. About. Com/od/hipkneereplacement/f/metaldetectors. Htm

http://www. Tsa. Gov/traveler-information/metal-implants ...Read more

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I had a spinal fusion a few years ago. Do I ever need to go back and have the screws checked? Or do they stay in place forever?

Yes: You should contact your surgeon and find out when he/she would like to see you. It is important to have follow-up to assess the fusion and make sure the screws/rods are intact. ...Read more

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Should I feel movement after fixing a screw from previous back spinal fusion surgery?

First, it is: Unlikely that even if a screw was not properly placed would you feel any movement of it. If the screw was placed about nerve tissue then you could experience pain and/or neurologic symptoms related to that nerve tissue. If the fusion did not heal then you may also experience a sensation of pain with motion of the back. ...Read more

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I had a spinal fusion l5-s1. I now have dull aching pain in my back that I think is from the screw heads. What are my options?

I had a spinal fusion l5-s1. I now have dull aching pain in my back that I think is from the screw heads. What are my options?

Follow up: You should follow up with your spinal surgeon. He/she may be able to determine upon examination if your symptoms are due to the hardware or something else. ...Read more

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Hello what is good for fibromyagia, chronic pain neck, mid back, low back I had surgery 7yrs ago spinal fusion 10 screws & rods Please advise meds?

Hello what is good for fibromyagia, chronic pain neck, mid back, low back I had surgery 7yrs ago spinal fusion 10 screws & rods Please advise meds?

Aerobic excercise.: Make sure you sleep well, even if you need a polysomnogram. Aerobic exercixe, meds such as svella, cymbalta, avenlafaxane, lyrica, (pregabalin) neurontin, ...Read more

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What will I go through during a spine fusion surgery?

Spine fusion: It's a big undertaking. Recovery can take 6 weeks to 4 to 6 months. Fusions are indicated when there is instability in the spine with nerve compression. Fusions for degen discs or black disc disease with back pain is controversial. ...Read more

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Could braces make the metal detector go off at the airport?

Could braces make the metal detector go off at the airport?

No: Metal detector is a magnetometer. Braces are non-magnetic stainless steel. They also will not rust, will not attract lightning, and will not make you nose-heavy when you go swimming. ...Read more

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How come vp shunts don't set off the metal detectors at airports? Will titanium plates/screws set them off? Does it depend on the size of the metal?

How come vp shunts don't set off the metal detectors at airports? Will titanium plates/screws set them off? Does it depend on the size of the metal?

Not iron: Vp shunts, although visible on x-ray, are not metallic and will not set off a magnetometer at the airport. Similarly, titanium is not ferromagnetic and does not set off these metal detectors as strongly as iron does.
Some titanium implants are iron alloys and react more strongly in the detectors.
And yes, the size of any implant makes a big difference in how much it sets off the detector. ...Read more

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Can silicone show up on an airport metal detector?

Can silicone show up on an airport metal detector?

SafeForBreastImplant: If you mean a metal-detecting wand, no. If you mean the "x-ray"machine that looks at your bags, etc on a conveyor belt, probably, if ti's thick enough. If you mean the machine you walk through that rings if you left your belt on, no. But: bear in mind that stuff can be added to silicone that makes it easier to find on x-ray and could set off an alarm if enough of a metal (say, metal powder) were added to it ...Read more

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Can 3 screws in my metacarpal set off metal detectors in airports?

Can 3 screws in my metacarpal set off metal detectors in airports?

Possibly: I would not think that 3 small screws in a metacarpal bone would set off metal detectors but they could with the advances in scanning technology at airports. If you have any documentation relating to the surgery you received that could be helpful. If not I am sure they would just use a wand scanner to focus on areas of concern and only your hand should trigger a positive response. ...Read more

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Does steel plate in arm show up on an airport metal detector?

Does steel plate in arm show up on an airport metal detector?

Yes: You need to be hand screened -- and remember to tell them when you arrive. It will set them off -- and that will just delay you. You will be hand-screened or searched. The microwave technology does not do a good job determining what the metal plate or orthopedic device is, although it is getting better. ...Read more

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Does anyone know if a metal plate with 6 screws in ankle will set off the detectors in the airport?

Does anyone know if a metal plate with 6 screws in ankle will set off the detectors in the airport?

Non Magnetic: They probably will not set off the metal detector as they are non-magnetic. And I have had no patient mention to me that their fracture hardware set off the detector. ...Read more

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Can 2 screws in my foot set off a metal detector?

Can 2 screws in my foot set off a metal detector?

No, because: Titanium is a special metal that will not set off the airport detectors. ...Read more

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I have been offered a spine fusion, anyone had one and doesn't mind sharing their experience?

I have been offered a spine fusion, anyone had one and doesn't mind sharing their experience?

Hard to Say: Everyone's experience with back surgery is hit or miss. There are those patients that do well after surgery and you never hear from them again and then there are those patients that did not fair so well and they vocalize their dissent. Would suggest though to make sure you have completed all options for relief including epidural steroid injections, radiofrequency ablation or even SCS. ...Read more

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What should I do if I have been offered a spine fusion, anyone had one and doesn't mind sharing their experience?

What should I do if I have been offered a spine fusion, anyone had one and doesn't mind sharing their experience?

Learn more: Spine fusions can be helpful, but are offered too frequently. Surgeons tend to underrate the power of time and a back strengthening routine. Fusion surgery may be appropriate if you have have instability and is rarely the best option if you have degenerative disc disease. The most common reason for failure is the inability of the surgeon to understand the underlying pain generator. ...Read more

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If pain management/therapy/chiropractor doesn't sucess after spine fusion surgery, what is next?

SCS: Spinal cord stimulation may be bery helpful. It may however not be either helpful or tolerable. A two to three day trial can allow for a decision to be made. ...Read more

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When would a doc recommend spine fusion surgery?

Teo reasons: Spinal instability and deformity progressive these two indications are not controversial or part of a recionstruction that requires support and stillness forl long term success. ...Read more

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How long could it take to recover from cervical spine fusion?

How long could it take to recover from cervical spine fusion?

3 months: Assuming a proper work-up has been done and conservative care has failed, most patients do very well from a single level cervical fusion. Average time for a complete recovery is 3 months. Check out spine health. Com. ...Read more

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How long will it be before I can bowl after a spine fusion?

After playing piano!: Gradual return to activities will begin within several weeks of surgery but any flexion/ rotation or twisting activities are after a solid fusion has been demonstrated and you have been through rehabilitation. The timing is also dependent on the number of levels fused, which area of the spine was fused & how the surgery was done. For this activity easily over 6 months and usually at one year. ...Read more

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Total spine fusion in 07, rods are too long and pushed into my neck. Neck and back in so much pain. Will removing the rods stop the pain?

Total spine fusion in 07, rods are too long and pushed into my neck. Neck and back in so much pain. Will removing the rods stop the pain?

Fusion: It is also possible that there are other reasons for pain. The first thing I would do is get a CT scan to determine if the fusion is solidly healed. If it is not healed then this is a very likely cause of your pain. If it is healed then the long rods can be removed and this may relieve the pain but there are no guarantees ...Read more

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What is spinal decompression and spine fusion surgery?

Different surgeries: Spinal decompression surgery is performed nerve root impingement-usually from bone or ligaments in the spinal canal or where the nerve roots exit-the neuroforamena. Generally called a laminectomy, it involves removing bone and ligament from the spine. A spinal fusion locks together two or more segments of the spine, usually with screws and rods. Bone is added as well to allow the bones to knit. ...Read more

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What happens if my cervical spine fusion does not fuse?

What happens if my cervical spine fusion does not fuse?

Cervical fusion: If a cervical spine fusion does not heal/fuse this is called a pseudoarthrosis. A cervical pseudoarthrosis can often be stable and not painful and does not always need treatment. If it is a painful pseudoarthrosis then an additional surgery can be done to make the level fuse. This usually involves a posterior fusion (placing screws and fusing from the back of the neck in addition to the front). ...Read more

Fusion (Definition)

A fusion gets rid of a joint or disk between to bones, getting the bones to join together with bone between them. If successful, it eliminates almost all the motion between the bones. Sometimes fusion simply occur as a result of disease, rarely from aging. Most of the time ...Read more