AFROTC Cadet on Full Scholarship - Shoulder injury

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by DadRock, May 9, 2013.

  1. DadRock

    DadRock New Member

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    My son has just dislocated his shoulder while working out at the gym. He was performing an overhead lift and he went too far backwards, shoulder went back in but it is now swollen. He is just finishing his first year of AFROTC on 5 year Tier 1 full scholarship. He scored a perfect 100 on his fall and spring PFT and received multiple honors from his detachment. He is in a complete panic, afraid that he is going to lose his scholarship if he goes to the doctor. The ONLY thing he has ever wanted to do is have a career in the AF. He did have one dislocation in high school during a football game, it required no surgery, and he returned to play several weeks later and has had no issues since. What should he do, what are the risks, if he goes to the ortho and has to have surgery is he done?
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    No he is not done. He should go to the doctor and address whatever needs to be addressed. He may be put on light duty for a while based on doctor's feedback. Although not as severe my son had a severe ankle sprain that he got during a PT run and was on crutches and limited duty for a few weeks. Common sense says as long as the injury doesn't prevent him from serving he will be absolutely fine. I suppose even if the injury was extremely severe causing him to lose the mobility of his arm he could always serve restricted line. He's worried about nothing. His health comes first in any case.
     
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Get him to the doc now.

    Most likely his AFROTC CoC will be ticked if he doesn't go because he can actually do more harm and risk his commission later on.

    He will go through another DoDMERB prior to commissioning. This injury will come out either way. Better to have a doc give him an all clear and be able to prove it, than him saying he had the injury, but never saw a doc...opening the door to the doc looking deeper into the injury.

    Tell him not seeing a doc now can also cause higher risks later on regarding surgery. I dislocated my knee at age 18. Put it back in, and didn't see a doc. 2 yrs later, I had to be operated on because the knee was not placed back exactly, my ligaments and cartilage had to be re-braided, and darted. I have a metal patella because it was bone on bone wearing for 18 months.

    Had I gone to an ortho, I probably would have never had surgery. OBTW, those 18 months I felt no pain. Just one day may knee gave out. 3 weeks later while on winter break I was operated on. The doc said I felt no pain because my ligaments and cartilage were holding my knee in place until it was too far gone that my body gave out.

    Now using me as an example, here is why I say get to the doc now. He will be up for SFT selection next yr. He goes to SFT and does this again there, he will be a medical turnback. He will than have to fight for SFT again.

    He can't commission without SFT. He can't become a POC without SFT. He will lose his scholarship if he doesn't become a POC. If surgery has to occur, he has a full yr to heal prior to SFT.

    He will have not only SFT under his belt after the surgery, but also more yrs out prior to taking his DoDMERB exit physical. Easier to get a waiver.

    Is he trying for a rated slot? Is that the fear? Shoulders, knees and backs are biggies for flight physicals. However, they do give waivers, it might come with caveats, such as non-ejection seat (no fighters), but they still can fly.

    Sorry for the long post, but hopefully seeing anecdotal info regarding dislocation without seeing a doc, and understanding there will be another DoDMERB exam he will see the positive of getting to a doc yesterday.
     
  4. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    How was his shoulder reduced (relocated) after the deadlift?

    If he was not examined and released to play by an MD after the high school injury, someone needs a talking to.

    -You should immediately post this on the DoDMERB forum, and send a PM to KP2001. He has been very helpful to my DS's and others...and he knows what the hell he's talking about. Just don't expect a cut and dried response. He can take several days to respond.

    -I dislocated my shoulder in 1974 screwing around at the Tennessee State Fair, in 1976 wrestling with my roommate, in 1978 water skiing. The first two required emergency room reductions. The third dislocated and reduced all at once. In 1979, my shoulder was fixed by a surgeon who was one of the first to use a "pinless" fix. He was also the team Surgeon for an SEC Football and Basketball team. At 56, I have total mobility. I don't deadlift, but I do 60-90 push-ups during a 45 min. P90X-type workout 3-4X/wk. Granted the bad shoulder was the non-dominant, but I stopped even thinking about it 30 years ago.

    -With each dislocation, the socket weakens. Sooner or later it will need to be fixed or it will pop out again.

    -Remember, going to ortho (with or without surgery) needs to be reported.

    I'm sure that others, more qualified than I will chime in, but IMHO, it's best to chart safest course for DS and then operate from there to his best advantage. Universal advice will be to take care of DS's health and be truthful.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2013
  5. DadRock

    DadRock New Member

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    Thanks cb7893, he was able to reduce it himself. An ortho happened to be at the game for the opposing team, he relocated it himself within minutes, thereby minimizing the damage, he was seen by an ortho surgeon the next day, had already gained nearly 100%, the surgeon said it was because the other ortho put it in and released several weeks later to play, still sat out the required time.
     
  6. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    Definitely check in with KP2001. He is a navy flight surgeon and knows the ins and outs of the process.

    Again, my surgery was 34 years ago with virtually no PT. I did all the exercises very conscientiously and made a total recovery.

    Best of Luck.
     
  7. Dad of 4

    Dad of 4 New Member

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    Shoulder dislocation

    A shoulder dislocation typically causes tissue damage to the labrum at the edges of the shoulder socket. The concern is that once it starts, subsequent dislocations become frequent and continue to expand the damage. My oldest son is completing his first year AROTC on 4 year scholarship. He tore the labrum during his last HS football game without dislocation. We traveled 5 hours to visit a good sports ortho doc. MRI is best way to diagnose the severity of the tear. Orthoscopic surgery and 3 months of rehab later, he received the "cleared for all activites" release from the doc. His initial DODMERB assessment was a DQ for the prior injury and "unstable shoulder". Upon review of his records and the attending Doc's report (full release), the Army Cadet Command granted a waiver for the condition. All is good with him.

    Second son jammed his shoulder at age 7, and experienced occasional dislocations during sports (diving back to 1st base). It always popped back in on its on and he'd continue playing. Last football season (HS Jr.) it popped out again when diving for a running back. He missed and the ground contact caused the separation. He had to leave the game and our sideline Doc had him sit out remainder of the game. Fitted with a brace and completed the season. After the season, we then took him back to surgeon who worked on oldest son, and repeated the process. He received the "cleared for all activities" last month and will be attending USNA camp in 2 weeks. We anticipate a similar waiver process with him as he navigates the DODMERB process.

    I would recommend a good evaluation of your son's shoulder. Since he is already in, I would think the greater risk would be to do nothing and have it revealed prior to commisioning, than to get it corrected and properly documented.

    Good luck!
     
  8. msw

    msw New Member

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    DadRock, I saw this thread as I was researching my son's situation. Has as there been any resolution in your son's case? My son is 2.5 years into AFROTC, and suffered a torn labrum during summer field training at Maxwell AFB. He has had surgery, and both surgeon and physical therapy group have said he will have 100% recovery, and no restriction for either ROM or general physical activity. However, just before hearing this, his Det/CC informed him that he is being medically disenrolled. We are trying to gather info on similar cases that have had positive resolutions, so that we can make a case with AETC/SG to review his case before the decision is final.
     
  9. DadRock

    DadRock New Member

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    My son has just had his surgery so we do not know the outcome yet, other than the surgeon who is a former Naval Academy Surgeon and retired Navy Captain has told us that it is 100% repaired.

    If you don't mind can you tell me if your son was already contracted with USAF with a full ride scholarship, and second what was his major at school?
     
  10. msw

    msw New Member

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    No scholarship, but a fully contracted cadet. Business major, focus on global supply chain mgt.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2013

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