Back Surgery for Spondylolysis/Pars Fracture

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by VAEC, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. VAEC

    VAEC Member

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    I've read several posts about waivers for Spondylolysis where the candidates did not need surgery. These have been very helpful, but I have not found any examples of candidates with a surgically repaired Pars Fracture. Via one of the posts we did find a Navy document that indicates surgery using any “fusing” procedures of the spine will not gain a waiver. I have not found equivalent documentation from any of the other branches nor any posts about the non-fusion surgery options.

    Does anyone have or know someone with experience at the other branches on obtaining waivers for surgical procedures on the spine? Any suggestions or guidance would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. sheriff3

    sheriff3 Member

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    If you are applying to an SA I would contact the local SA liasion officer and ask for a medical contact and ask the queston of them. If applying for ROTC same advice. They will likely only give you a best guess as only the surgeon general of that branch can make a final determinition. As I recall orthopedic issues for AROTC is one of the most DQ'd conditions. Best of luck.:thumb:
     
  3. VAEC

    VAEC Member

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    Thanks Sheriff3. A medical contact that has experience with the waiver process is exactly what we're looking for (so we can avoid dumb mistakes). We contacted regional Service Academy admissions officer for direction and/or suggestions. Recieved neither. How do we find our "local" liasion officer? I must not be looking in the right places or the right way.
     
  4. VAEC

    VAEC Member

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    Sorry for the typo...liaison
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    The way the process works is he will be sent to a DoDMERB doc for his initial exam. He will automatically be DQd under:
    D227.81 Spondylolisthesis, history of
    D227.80 Spondylolysis, history of

    The waiver process is initiated by the commissioning source. I.E. the SA or ROTC. They are the final authority. Waivers are a case by case issue, thus it is highly unlikely either the liaison or the doc will be able to tell you anything except for what we will say here.

    Just go through the process.

    The thing to remember and understand is from their perspective how will this waiver impact them with doing the mission. Will it impact them regarding if they can't do certain jobs, if they can't deploy, if they can't PCS to a base/post because of medical care needed, will the medical condition worsen over the next 20 yrs?

    If they waive him, and he retires from the military after 20 yrs., they will be on the hook for his medical coverage for the rest of his life.
     
  6. VAEC

    VAEC Member

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    Thanks Pima, this forum has been great for providing that information and we understand and support that. Honestly, I wish his decision was that simple. If so, he'd already know how to proceed. Fortunately, for our son there are several procedures that will work equally well, but the waivering authority is likely to have a different view of each. We're just trying to understand the criteria or obtain some better info before our son has to make his decision.
     
  7. VAEC

    VAEC Member

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    Sheriff3, I found his local Liaison Officer. Thanks for the suggestion.
     
  8. VAEC

    VAEC Member

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    Update: Through an exceptional USMA graduate, we found the answers we needed for our son. The short answer is this. Any surgical procedure that involves fusion is very hard to waiver. Other procedures such as Direct Pars Repairs may be better, but these too can have issues depending on the types of retained hardware and whether BMP is used. The key is whether the candidate is fully healed and if long-term prognosis is highly positive. Having a post-operative CT or Bone Scan showing fully healed fracture(s) will be essential to obtaining a waiver as is the ever-present quality of the candidate.

    For anyone considering whether to have surgery or not, you have our best wishes. It is a tough decision given the amount of time needed to attain and demonstrate symptom free status. If your son or daughter is faced with this situation, make sure you are fully informed on his or her actual pathology before deciding what to do and definitely before requesting a waiver. If I understand the waiver process correctly, once a waiver is denied, there's no second bite at the apple.

    If anyone ever has questions, feel free to send me a pm.
     

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