Cremation and prosthetic joints

As the proud new owner of a titanium hip, kaylasmom today asked a somewhat understandable question. When she kicks it, and I (or whatever living relative is still around) have her mortal remains consigned to the flames at the local crematorium, what will become of the metal?

Does it get sifted out with the bone shards?

I have a friend that’s a funeral director. According to her, anything that’s not, well, organic comes out before the body goes to the crematorium. IIRC, she said artificial (metal) joints have a scrap value, I don’t recall if she mentioned if they offer them to the family first.

I remember when they came to pick up mom’s body the crematorium people did ask about that, and pacemakers, and so forth. As mom didn’t have anything of the sort I don’t know what the result of a “yes” answer would be.

My spouse has lots n’ lots of medical grade titanium in his leg… but he wants to be buried, not cremated. Interesting question, though - should we bury that, or recycle for money and the financial benefit of the family? I mean, we recycled the gold from father-in-law’s teeth, why not the titanium from a leg?

I don’t know if “surgery” is the right word for a procedure to remove such things from a dead body, but it sure seems to me that it would be pretty messy.

Probably not much messier then most of the other things that happen to a body posthumously.

Thanks for the information, Joey P.

Also: :eek:

My father was cremated and I asked about this at the funeral home. I asked about things like fillings and his pacemaker. They said it would be disposed of as medical waste.

Sounds like a Law and Order episode… “If you cremated him and did not remove the pacemaker first, how come there was no explosion in the rematorium furnace?”

Would they bother going after a few screws? I don’t know why I’m bothering to ask. I’ll eventually end up with the knees replaced. Unless they find some way to make the cartilage regrow.

A few screws might not be a problem. On the other hand, my spouse has had every bone below his right knee entirely replaced with an internal prosthesis. Not screws, not plates, not pins - no bone, just metal struts and an artificial ankle. I can’t help but think that’s a bigger issue than a few screws or a pacemaker.