AROTC injury question

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by kodiakisland, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. kodiakisland

    kodiakisland Member

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    My son has everything completed for the first board. Everything seemed to be going great.

    Last Friday night he tore his ACL and Meniscus. We meet with the surgeon on Tuesday to schedule surgery.

    If he is accepted, what will this mean for the physical? The army wants athletes, so I would assume this happens on a somewhat frequent basis.

    He was a two way starter on a team expected to go deep into the playoffs. His dissapointment will be much worse if the army tells him no based on the physical.
     
  2. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    So sorry to hear about your son's injury.

    If your son is selected for a scholarship on the first board he will be sent a Dodmerb packet and told to schedule his physical and fill out a medical history. He will need to list that he had this injury, there will be a section for him to fill out explaining the injury and the treatment/surgery, be very specific.

    Your son will most likely be DQ'd, that is not the end of the process. The Army ROTC will decide whether to ask for a waiver, your son may be asked by Dodmerb for a remedial. Be ready for a long process.

    My son ran track, in the spring of 2009 he suffered an Avulsion Fracture of the Hip, he did not require surgery, but was sent to physical therapy for a couple months and was un able to run for about 8 weeks. Son applied for the AROTC Scholarship in the fall of 2010, he was awarded the scholarship on the first board and went for his physical in Nov., he was found qualified without a remdial. Every case is different and there are no clear cut answers. Your son will need to be cleared by his doctors for unrestricted physical activity before he can be considered for a waiver and then it's up to Dodmerb, it could go either way. My advise is get things moving with the doctor as soon as possible to give him sufficient time to recover.

    A cadet in my son's battalion broke his ankle last year, required surgery and even had pins put in his ankle, he recovered and was able to commission on time. Of course he was already in the program when this happened.

    I have posted a couple items from the Dodmerb Forum that gives some information regarding waivers.

    Best of luck to your son

    EDIT: One other thing, if your son is awarded a 3 year AD Scholarship, he would have the rest of this year and his entire freshman year to try and obtain a waiver for the injury and be cleared by Dodmerb. The only risk would be if attending the school he receives the scholarship is dependent on the scholarship to pay tuition. If he ends up not being qualified he would be responsible for the tuition for his remaining time at the school.

     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
  3. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

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    To paraphrase Army Medical Standards, current meniscal injury does not meet the standard and would trigger a DQ. Same with internal derangement of the knee. you can take some encouragement from the language which states that a "history of surgical correction of knee ligaments does not meet the standard only if symptomatic or unstable." As Jcleppe points out, waivers from DQs are available.

    Although these injuries and the subsequent surgery take a long time to heal, there is also a lot of time before your son's accession. Time, patience and rehab are the critical elements.
     
  4. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I would make sure the surgeon understands the situation in case there are any options of any sort available... Ie the way the surgery is done, how therapy is handled, etc. There may not be any though. All I know about medicine I learned watching 'Marcus Welby'.
     
  5. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    Well at least he didn't tear the MCL. Normally those injuries will heal well after surgery and a steroid regimen. The problems arise later on when his meniscus starts to grind bone on bone and synovial fluids depletes (bursitis is common as well). From a future health perspective the army is going to give him arthritis even faster than normal and with these types of injuries (with the nature of the work) the arthritis could come even sooner.

    My advice is to grill the orthopaedic doc with questions specifically regarding future military service because his health quality of life is the number one priority not whether or not he can pass the DoDMERB.

    MY dad tore his ACL/meniscus playing college football at 19, he is now in his 50s (still active at the gym) but his knee injury all those years ago still plagues him. He wasn't in the army but did work as a forest firefighter and that work killed his knee even more.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
  6. kodiakisland

    kodiakisland Member

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    Thankfully we have access to a good knee surgeon who has worked for the New England Patriots and Boston bruins, and currently is the knee specialist for the Arkansas Razorbacks, so he is well versed in sports injury and repair.

    Early intervention on the meniscus decreases the long term negative effects of the injury. Advances in knee repair have come a long way in the last 20 years. I remember when an ACL tear was career ending.

    Believe me, I will be discussing a future military career with the surgeon. I spent enough time as an 11B to understand the needs placed on the body. I just want my son to choose whether to serve or not, and not have that decision made for him by someone else.
     
  7. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Well, seems like you're doing all the right things and have the right people on the case. Praying your son heals well and quickly and all works out for him.
     

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