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Flying with a lot of titanium in your neck????

Ok so I find myself in a position where I may be flying to Virginia ina few weeks for a job interview (as most of you know I am medically retiring from the Navy so I have been job hunting). Anyway, my Neurosurgeon rrefused to give me a flight card or whatever it is called saying that it was un-needed. I didn't worry about it because that was 9-10 months ago and at that point flying was the least of my worries. So, anyone experience getting on a plane with a lot of titanium in their neck? Is the TSA going to be a pain? Do I need to try and force the issue to get a card or letter or something about the implanted fixation titanium in my neck? I am worried because the last thing I need is to not get a job because the TSA held me up lol.


  • Never tried flying with titanium in my neck per se, but I have flown with lots of hardware. Never been a real problem. before the full body scanners I did have to explain and be "wanded" but never a big issue.... now a days with the full body scanners, you don't have to say anything... you just do like everyone else... easy, no questions, no comments, etc.. However I will say that my surgeon warned me to ALWAYS travel in two pieces (I'm a woman... ie no dresses) because he has had patients where they wanted to see the scars, much easier/quicker to lift a shirt than a dress. Never had this happen, but I have taken his advice.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • I have rods, screws and cages in my back and haven't had any problem with TSA. I wore a brace the last time I flew which got me thoroughly checked.

    I did set off the metal detector once going into the local prison to treat someone. I had to raise my shirt to prove to them that I wasn't sneaking anything in.
    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • I asked my Doc about this very same issue. He said that a card is no longer needed. He recommended that you tell the security personnel that you have surgical hardware BEFORE they scan/check you, so they are aware if anything trips a sensor. You can also show your scar if needed. They may just take a little longer to check you thoroughly, but I have never heard of anyone having problems. Having said that, my Doc also commented that often the newer materials in the surgical hardware doesn't even trip any of the sensors. I would not worry about it. Just declare your situation when you get up to the point where you empty all your pockets and put your stuff in the tubs that go through the scanner. That way it won't be like you are trying to hide anything. :-)

    48 year old freight handler. Bilateral foraminotomy, decompression of nerve roots and reduction of spondylolisthesis at L4-5 with open PILF and autogenous bone graft from left hip - June 13, 2013
  • The only time I ever truly had trouble was trying to enter our local courthouse.... I had a brace and a Bone Stim underneath. They made me remove the brace and Bone Stim (the lady who was excessively polite said she was afraid it could shock me?!?!?!)
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.

  • I have flown several times since having my rods and screws in my lumbar spine and the two metal cages in my neck. They are all titanium and have not set off the alarms at the airport. I did used to mention to the security staff before being scanned that I had metal hardware in me.

    Then this year we were on a cruise ship, and I did set off the alarms as I reboarded the ship. I told them I have metal hardware inside me. They frisked me and took my cabin number. Although I passed through the security scanners several time after that, I didn't set off the alarms again. I think you should be ok.

    Good luck with your interview! :-)
  • I have hardware top and bottom and have never told them about it or been questioned after body scans. I thought they were going to when they asked about my neck but it turns out they meant my gold chain.
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