Please set me straight!

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by Ken, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. Ken

    Ken Member

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    I really could use some advice regarding my DoDMERB exam and have not been able to find an answer. This past February, I had shoulder surgery due to a sports injury. Since then I have completed my rehab and have been cleared by my doctor. Somewhere I thought I read that if I have my exam more than six months after my surgery I do not need a waiver. I was hoping to wait till Sept. 1 for my exam but have already received my letter to schedule an appointment.
    What is the best approach? Should I schedule it ASAP and begin the process of a waiver or should I try to postpone my appointment?
     
  2. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    A waiver will likely be required regardless, but usually is not even considered unless 6 months have passed since the surgery. I can't advise you on whether or not waiting until September is advisable, but do be prepared to provide info for a waiver.
     
  3. Ken

    Ken Member

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    Just to clarify, does that mean if I do it before September I will not qualify for a waiver at all? Can I postpone my exam even though the letter said schedule within 6 weeks?
     
  4. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    In the end, it likely won't matter from the standpoint of your shoulder whether you take your exam now or later. They'll want records from your surgery. If all is well, worst case is you wait until the 6 month point for your DODMERB clearance. I don't know that you'll need a waiver if you have fully recovered -- waivers are typically for medical issues that are not fully resolved or resolvable.

    The advantage to taking the exam now is there could be another issue that you're not aware of -- happens all the time. The more time you give yourself to deal with that potentiality, if it occurs, the better.

    If in doubt, call DODMERB. They have a hotline to address questions like yours and the feedback is that they are quite helpful.
     
  5. JMS

    JMS Member

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    +1 to USNA1985.... it happened to DS. He had knee surgery (a couple years before), and that was the worry. Well he was DQed for the knee AND color vision! The color vision was entirely out of left field! We sent medical records for the knee, but the color vision thing is not fixable and became a brick wall for the sea going services.
    Eventually DS cleared the knee, and he is AROTC because the Army is less concerned about color vision.
     
  6. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    You will need a waiver. Sorry but it doesn't matter if the nation's top orthopedic doctor clears you, you will need a Army/Navy/AF MC surgeon to sign and approve your waiver. Civilian doctors are out of the loop regarding our regulations and processes obviously.
     
  7. grevar

    grevar CGA Admissions Partner

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    Really?

    Just to clarify.... You need a waiver for any kind of surgery?

    DS had a broken collarbone 2 years ago and had it repaired with a plate. From all that I read in the DODMERB disqualifiers, surgical hardware is not a disqualifying issue so long as it doesn't cause pain

    e. Fractures
    (1) Current malunion or non-union of any fracture (733.8) (except asymptomatic ulnar styloid process fracture).
    (2) Current retained hardware (including plates, pins, rods, wires, or screws) used for fixation that is symptomatic or interferes with proper wearing of equipment or military uniform. Retained hardware is not disqualifying if fractures are healed, ligaments are stable, and there is no pain.

    DS was completely returned to sports 6 weeks post surgery and has had no issues since. I have received all his medical records relating to the surgery.

    Are you saying that he will STILL NEED a waiver for this issue for USNA or NROTC?

    Interested to know what we face....
     
  8. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    It is really impossible to second guess what Dodmerb will require and to what extent. There are waivers and then there are Remedials, a remedial is where they ask for further information, if they get what they need they will sometimes sign off without a waiver.

    We were all prepared for the Remedial and Waiver process with my younger son. Son had broken his HIp (Avulsion Fracture) a week before his sophomore year ended in high school. He healed and was cleared to run again after a stint of physical therapy. When he filled out his Dodmerb paperwork we made sure we had a current diagnosis, all his records, and a letter from his doctor. He filled out the supplemental questionaire on the Dodmerb form regarding his injury. We had all our ducks in a row and were told by all the PMS's at each school he applied to be ready for the waiver process.

    Son had his physical, 2 1/2 weeks later his Dodmerb status changed to "Qualified" and he received the official letter a few days later. No remedial, no waiver, nothing. We all just smiled and moved on.

    So you can see, each case is different and too hard to make any predictions. The best your son's can do is to move forward with the physicals and be prepared for anything.
     
  9. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    I am GUESSING yes because shoulder injuries go bad...a lot and the Army knows this. I know this from personal experience with a medium shoulder tear (2 ligs shredded) and still have significant weakness even with PT sessions and my own rehab workouts. I had to have a waiver back in 2008 after I was fully cleared by my civvy doc.
     
  10. grevar

    grevar CGA Admissions Partner

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    So, do we bring all the surgery records to the physical and turn them in to the Doc there? There isnt much. About five pages.
     
  11. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    I would have him take everything with him to the physical in case the Doctor wants to take a look. Keep copies of everything in case you need to submit them later for a Remedial or a Waiver.
     
  12. Dad

    Dad Member

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    Nope. You will fill out the medical history document PRIOR to the physical and bring it with you. Make sure you document the injury AND provide copies of the records to verify the prognosis. The doctor there will do specific physical evaluations. DoDMERB will review the doctor's report and the medical history paperwork (which is extensive). They will either: 1) declare you qualified; 2) as for a remedial (which is basically saying they need more info about a certain issue or issues); or, 3) declare you do not meet standards. If #3 occurs, it is up to the source (ROTC or SA) to request a waiver.

    Best advice my DS ever got regarding the DoDMERB exam was to reveal everything, provide evidence for resolved deficiencies (healed broken hand in his case) when requested via remedial, and worry about what he could control and not what he can't. And, of course, make copies of everything he turned in. Best wishes. :thumb:
     
  13. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    THIS! We are dealing with this now regarding EOCs at LDAC, more info makes the process go a lot faster.

    Also I should have clarified more regarding remedial vs waiver but it looks like it was covered!
     
  14. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Yes, there is definitely a difference b/t a remedial and a waiver. Remedials are very common . . . basically means DODMERB needs additional information (e.g., medical records) or additional testing to determine whether you are qualified or not qualified.

    Most "history of" issues, injuries, etc. will require remedials. Not all require a waiver.

    Based on the information from the remedial, DODMERB will consider you qualified or not qualified medically. If you are not qualified, it is up to each SA and/or ROTC program to determine whether to grant you a waiver for your condition. There can be -- and often are -- different standards for different services. The above example of color blindness is a good one. Some medical issues are rarely waived (history of asthma is one example); however, there are exceptions even to these "rules."

    Generally, if an injury has fully healed and there is documentation to support it (including, possibly, a statement to that effect from a DODMERB MD), a waiver likely wouldn't be needed. If there are lingering issues, a waiver would be needed.

    As you probably can now sense, every situation is unique which is why it's hard for anyone here to give you anything but general information regarding the process. Obviously, two people could suffer the same injury and have different outcomes, which would impact the Qual/DQ status and/or waiver status for each.
     

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