Do I have to have a letter from my GP/Specialist to f... - NRAS


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Do I have to have a letter from my GP/Specialist to fly as I now have a knee replacement?


Hi eveyone and thanks in advance. It has been seven weeks since my knee replacement and as I missed out on my birthday holiday this month as I was not allowed to fly we have rebooked to go away in early December. I have had conflicting advice about whether or not I need a letter. Some people have said yes re going through security and setting off alarms with the metal knee, others hacve said a letter makes no difference so its not worth paying for it. Any advice would be appreciated. Donna x

6 Replies

If you have to pay then I don't think it's worth it. They will still ask you to go through the scanner, and you'll set it off, so they'll still frisk you individually. So it won't make any difference whether or not you have a letter. And loads of people have replacement knees and hips so they are used to it. You just have to factor in an extra few minutes in your journey time, and maybe learn the phrase for "I have a replacement knee" in the language of the country you're going to for the return journey?

The only reason to me for a letter is when you have something that means you can't go through the scanner, as they will want evidence for that. Polly

No, you don't. But be prepared to tell the security people that you have the replacement if you "beep", and expect that you will get a "pat down" examination of your knee through your clothing. For foreign countries (non-english speaking) see if you can download a photo of a knee replacement, so you have something to show if you can't explain it in their language, or just be prepared to show the scar over your knee.

Some replacements don't actually trigger the scanner anyway (ceramic ones, etc)

Thanks for this advice. I am due to have 2 knee replacements and also have metal rods in my spine so I would have asked for a letter before flying. Your ideas are very sensible (take photos of op etc).

Can I ask Donna, why were you not allowed to fly after knee replacement? Never knew about this.


helixhelix in reply to joan_w

NHS has useful info on when you can fly after different types of's the link.....Looks like knees are 3 months! Seems rather a lot to me. Polly

joan_w in reply to helixhelix

Thanks Polly. It seems a long time to me also. Wonder if it is because of possible DVT problems.


I have had both knee replacements, and 8 spine surgeries, with titanium rods, plates and screws allup the spine. My Orthopaedic surgeon has cards made out with a drawing of the knee replacement and the spinal rods, which he signs and dates. He has not told me I needed to wait any length of time before flying, though after knee replacement, I wouold not have wanted to go anywhere for the first 2-4 weeks! Rehab had to come first! Loret xx

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