Can Airport Scanners Detect Arthritis?

credit: Andrea Starr | Pacific Northwest

Following security concerns, most airports implement scanning devices to check for any items that may be harmful or a cause for concern. Full body scanners detect the body’s profile without specific detail. Anything within the body will not appear on a scan, although scanners can detect irregularities that may indicate a health concern.

Airport scanners cannot detect arthritis, but they can detect scar tissue resulting from osteoarthritis and general arthritis. Scar tissue is flagged on scanners because it is denser than normal tissue. Scarring develops due to the breakdown in the tissue between the cartilage and bones.

Related: Can airport scanners detect health problems?

Can Airport Scanners Detect Arthritis?

Airport scanners do not detect arthritis but can see the side effects of arthritis, such as scar tissue. Because arthritis affects the joints, scanners don’t notice it. Scanners see tissue, so they pick up on any effect that arthritis has on these.

Does The Full Body Scanner Detect Abnormalities?

The body scanner uses radio waves to take an image of the body and flag anything out of the ordinary. Anything that does not lie flush with the surrounding surface, protrudes, or has an abnormal tissue mass is highlighted and appears on the scanner in yellow.

What Health Problems Can An Airport Scanner Detect?

Airport scanners highlight various health concerns because they detect abnormalities. Scanners do not provide any diagnosis but highlight areas such as abnormal masses, previous injuries, cysts, lipomas, skin lesions, and hernias.

Do Airport Scanners Pick Up Scar Tissue?

Scanners often pick up medical problems serendipitously while looking for security threats. Scar tissue is one of the health problems that often sets scanners off.

Does Arthritis Form Scar Tissue?

Osteoarthritis and arthritis create scar tissue, forming when the tissue between joints gets worn down. The difference is that osteoarthritis is an autoimmune disease, and the body eats away at the joints, whereas arthritis develops by wear and tear.

How Does Arthritis Form Scar Tissue?

Arthritis occurs when the surface of the joints is damaged. Cartilage wears away, making bones rub together, which is extremely painful and, over time, causes scar tissue.

What Does Scar Tissue Look Like On Airport Scanners?

Airport scanners do not show scar tissue in detail. Scanners display a profile of the body and highlight areas that don’t appear as expected. As a result, scar tissue will reflect as a yellow area on the scan.

Do Airport Scanners Detect Inflammation?

Although not commonplace, full body scanners have, on odd occasions, correctly flagged areas that are inflamed. There were several instances where passengers were recently injured, and the injury and bruising showed up on the scanner.

What Should I Do If I Have Arthritis?

If you know that you have arthritis, take a doctor’s note detailing the areas in which arthritis is present. If anything reflects on the scan, a medical clarification will clear this up and prevent an embarrassing pat down.

If I Take Arthritic Medication, Must I Take A Medical Note With Me?

It is best to take as much medical information as possible to be on the safe side; it may just save you time and frustration.

Do Airport Scanners See Bones?

Airport scanners do not see bones; they pick up irregular or denser matter, so damage to bones or broken bones could show up. There is a possibility that arthritis may show up in this way.

Does Arthritic Medication Show Up On Scanners?

Strontium is a medication used in the treatment of osteoarthritis. Strontium works similarly to calcium by assisting in growing new bones and breaking down old bones. The changes in bone mass could show up on an airport scanner.

Do Scanners See Joint Replacements?

Scanners will pick up on anything that does not resemble the surrounding tissue, so any prosthesis will appear on a scan. Take medical proof with you to avoid a body search.

Can Airport Scanners See Crystals Inside Your Joints?

Although arthritis causes crystals in joints, similar to calcium build-up, full-body scanners will not pick this up per se. Still, it shows yellow on the scanner.

Are Full Body Scans Dangerous?

Airport Body Scanners present no danger to health. The radiation an airport scanner emits is so tiny that it does not raise any health concerns.

Will A Full Body Scan Cause Inflammation?

Full body scans do not cause inflammation; they may detect but will not inflame any body part.

Will A Full Body Scan Detect Arthritis Before Symptoms Are Present?

It is not likely that a full body scan will detect arthritis before it manifests because the scanner will detect scar tissue. When arthritis has reached this stage, the area will already be painful.

Is It Painful To Have A Full Body Scan?

Arthritic areas are painful, especially if the site is inflamed. Scans will not cause pain, but a pat down may feel sensitive. A doctor’s note will let you avoid this.

Can I Refuse A Body Scan?

You will not be allowed to enter the airport terminal without a security check. However, you will need to submit yourself to a thorough patting down. It is permissible to refuse a body scan.

Will A Body Scan Pick Up That I Have Taken Anti-Inflammatory Tablets?

Body Scanners cannot detect anything in the blood, so an ingested medication is not visible.

If I Use A Wheelchair, Will I Have To Have A Body Scan?

Travelers using wheelchairs will not be able to have a full body scan but will have a pat down. Advise the authorities if you cannot lift your limbs; a security check requires you to do this. Take a medical certificate with you to avoid any hassles progressing through the security checkpoint.

Will My Wheelchair Be Scanned For Security Purposes?

Wheelchairs are checked, not scanned. Security will look at the entire wheelchair and any cushions or padding.

If I Use A Walking Stick, How Will I Be Scanned?

Using a walking stick, you can progress through a scanner without any issues. The airport official will examine your walking stick separately and hand it back.

Can I Get Priority Screening If I Use A Wheelchair?

Suppose any form of arthritis affects your mobility, and you use a wheelchair. In that case, you qualify for a TSA security precheck. It is advisable to inform the airline in advance. However, they may not deny you a pre-check. Take medical documentation with you to avoid any delay.

Will The Airport Assist Me If I Need A Wheelchair?

Suppose you cannot walk through the airport due to arthritic pain. An airport official will indicate this on your ticket. In that case, you may contact the airport in advance and request mobility assistance.

What Is A TSA Pre-check?

A TSA pre-check allows you to proceed quickly through security without taking off your shoes, belt, or sweater. You will not have to put your hand luggage through a scanner, either.

How Do I Apply For A Pre-check?

Apply for a pre-check online, followed by a ten-minute interview and a background check. You must apply in advance, as it takes a few days to process a pre-check.

If I Am Traveling Alone, Will An Airport Official Assist Me?

Airport officials will assist you if you have mobility issues and are traveling alone. Contact the airline in advance to ensure that you have assistance on arrival.