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Warrant
23rd January 2008, 06:56 AM
I did a search and found a few posts on scoliosis, but I would like a opinion based on my situation.

I would like to become a fighter pilot very much, however I have scoliosis, I have two curves a upper and lower, one is in the mid 30 range , the other curve is in the lower 40 range.

Is their any chance I could get a waiver? I am 18 years old, and according to docters and xrays, I am done growing and the curve should not progress much farther. I do not have any pain and the docter says that my back isnt any weaker than a normal one?

What if I have surgary done to correct the curves to near straight. Two rods would be screwed into the spine. It is pretty serious surgary but is somewhat common process and very little risk. leaves a scar about 12 inches long on the back. Would I have a better or worse chance of a waiver?

Would it make any difference on my chances about my prefernce of which job. Pulling G's in a fighter would put stress on the spine. But what about flying choppers, or staying on the ground as a officer. I plan to try through OCS.

One last thing do all branches use the same MEPS/medical examination? for example if I dont get through air force, could I get through as army chopper pilot, coast guard, or navy?

Thanks

RetNavyHM
23rd January 2008, 12:49 PM
From what you have described you have a pretty severe scoliosis, both lumbar and thoracic, which exceed the standards. The rough degrees of scoliosis that you mention are both well outside of the limits. In this case I feel that a waiver would be very difficult to obtain.

If you have the surgery in my opinion you would have almost no chance at a waiver. In my 5 years at DoDMERB I never saw anyone get a waiver after having the surgery.

If you were to get a waiver for the scoliosis to attend an academy or ROTC program, I would doubt that you would be able to fly as a pilot or crew.

I am not telling you to give up on your dream. As I've stated before, I've been wrong in the past, and I'm sure I'll be wrong in the future. Go for your dreams, but make sure you have a back up plan as well.

Warrant
23rd January 2008, 08:20 PM
Damn yea I figured my chances would be next to none.

I guess Ill try through OTS after I get my degree, nothing to loose, in the meantime get well prepared. Im planning to get a Associates in pre-engineering, and then dual degree (BS) in aerospace and mechanical engineering. and also get a associates in professional pilot, get alot of flight time and most of the certifications. Also get in the best physical condition I can. Maybe I can make them want me - be the best and top qualified. Id actually like to be a chopper pilot.

If I cant get though, Ill try for a civillian flying career, hopfully my back wont interfere with that, or maybe go through the civillian palace aquire program for the AF and be a engineer.

RetNavyHM
24th January 2008, 12:12 AM
As I stated above, if the academy/ROTC program is what you want to do, apply and go through the waiver process. You will never know what the decision will be if you do not try.

USMAPS73
24th January 2008, 05:09 PM
I last posted on this subject (scoliosis) back in early November. Since then, my daughter received nominations to Army and Air Force and was accepted into the Navy Foundation program.
Air Force denied the waiver request. The Navy, Army and ROTC waiver requests are still pending. Still keeping a positive attitude.

2012maybemom
24th January 2008, 11:45 PM
DODMERB just posted my son's medical waiver denial for scoliosis. Degree of curvature very similar to person who started this thread. Son had an LOA to the MMA, had a congressional nomination, and this just showed up today. Very, very upsetting to all of us. :frown:

QsKDolCi
24th January 2008, 11:54 PM
Hey! I have some info you might want to take into consideration. SEE a chiropractor, I don't know if you have ever been suggested too or if your doctor told you chiropractory doesn't work, but it does! I had a 30 degree curve in my lombar and after 3 months of chiropractory it is down to 23 degrees! Give it a shot, you have nothing to lose.

I also have a question about scoliosis, what are the cut offs for what you can have in terms of degrees?

RetNavyHM
25th January 2008, 12:24 AM
2012maybemom I'm sorry to hear that. You can always request the waiver authorities re-look at his file.

2012maybemom
25th January 2008, 02:10 AM
How does one go about doing that? My son has submitted statements already, and we've sent letters from two docs (pediatrician and orthopedic surgeon) who both said that although he does have scoliosis, his growth spurt is over, there should be no further progression, and it hasn't impacted on his life at all. Still the waiver was denied.

RetNavyHM
25th January 2008, 12:30 PM
Have your son write another letter requesting that the waiver authorities take another look at his file. If you do not have any additional information that is fine, the waiver folks will look at it again. You may also have your son contact his admissions officer and ask if there is anything that they can do.

Warrant
25th January 2008, 09:54 PM
Hey! I have some info you might want to take into consideration. SEE a chiropractor, I don't know if you have ever been suggested too or if your doctor told you chiropractory doesn't work, but it does! I had a 30 degree curve in my lombar and after 3 months of chiropractory it is down to 23 degrees! Give it a shot, you have nothing to lose.

I also have a question about scoliosis, what are the cut offs for what you can have in terms of degrees?

Defiantly sounds like somthing I should try, Im really worried about having a growth spurt and the curve progressing. If thats the case I wonder if bracing would still be a option. I was given a brace but it was big and clumsy, they wanted me to wear it 23 hours a day! I managed to get like 10 for awhile but I just could wear that thing.

What kinda of things/exercises did you do to reduce that curve!?

BTW here the limits:

4) There is lumbar scoliosis greater than 20 degrees, thoracic scoliosis greater than 30 degrees, and kyphosis or lordosis greater than 55 degrees when measured by the Cobb method.

QsKDolCi
25th January 2008, 10:02 PM
Defiantly sounds like somthing I should try, Im really worried about having a growth spurt and the curve progressing. If thats the case I wonder if bracing would still be a option. I was given a brace but it was big and clumsy, they wanted me to wear it 23 hours a day! I managed to get like 10 for awhile but I just could wear that thing.

What kinda of things/exercises did you do to reduce that curve!?

BTW here the limits:

4) There is lumbar scoliosis greater than 20 degrees, thoracic scoliosis greater than 30 degrees, and kyphosis or lordosis greater than 55 degrees when measured by the Cobb method.

It's hard to say. For starters the chiropractor did all the work and didn't want me to do really much of anything. As he did his job he started me on cardio, running and such. Then as things progressed he cleared me to do what ever I please, mainly strengthen my back and abdominal muscles. The more you strengthen your abdomen, the more stress you take off your back muscles. I don't have specific exercises to give you because every case is different and it is really up to your doctor to see what is best for you, so I suggest you seek one ASAP. Find someone who believes they can help you and is open to newer treatments. The key is to listen to the doc, work with him, and pick exercises that will help you and at the same time challenge you and keep you interested. Good luck!

As for those numbers, are those the maximums as in you will get DQ'ed for them and have no chance at a waiver, or you will get DQ'ed but have a chance at a waiver? Also, lumbar is the bottom part of the back right? Thanks again and best of luck!

Hooah

RetNavyHM
25th January 2008, 10:23 PM
The degrees listed are the disqualification limits. Over that and you will be disqualified. The wavier authorities do not (at least to my knowledge) have a set limit where they will not waive. Each applicant is looked at individually.

QsKDolCi
25th January 2008, 10:29 PM
Thanks for your reply, looking forward to next year. :)