GLJQ

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Aug 18, 2019
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Hello all—
Having attended NAS & SLE in June and nearly completed applications to the 3 SA’s, my son received a DoDMERB disqualification for “D224.81 History of chrondomalacia”. His knee started to have pain after playing indoor soccer & spring track...he saw several doctors who ruled out any injuries but said that due to his rapid growth over the past year & a half (tendon/muscles not keeping up with growth) that he should focus on PT hip & leg strengthening exercises...which have definitely helped to the extent that he’s back playing varsity soccer and running without issue. Unfortunately, one of the orthopedic docs stated on my son’s medical report that he has “mild chrondomalacia” and now on the last report the doctor stated he “is cleared for all activities/sports”....
So, given all this - thoughts on chances of waiver and any recommendations (assuming, of course, the SA’s put him in for a waiver)??
 

GLJQ

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Aug 18, 2019
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Anyone else have experience/success receiving a USNA, USMA, USAFA waiver for the knee issue described above or otherwise...?
 
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justdoit19

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Apr 9, 2017
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I haven’t read anything about that exact condition. My experience is with one son who had 3 surgeries for a knee issue, DQ and no waiver. A second son who had a bursa knee issue, had AMI’s and was qualified (now a Mid). Third (currently applying) son had a knee bursitis, AMI’s, and just received his qualified letter.

Point is this: you just have to work through whatever DODMERB wants done. Plain and simple really.
 

Heatherg21

USNA mom Bacon Lover Dog Lover
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I haven’t read anything about that exact condition. My experience is with one son who had 3 surgeries for a knee issue, DQ and no waiver. A second son who had a bursa knee issue, had AMI’s and was qualified (now a Mid). Third (currently applying) son had a knee bursitis, AMI’s, and just received his qualified letter.

Point is this: you just have to work through whatever DODMERB wants done. Plain and simple really.
congrats on qual letter. Curious, how long after exam did your DS receive qualification? Thank you
 

justdoit19

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He had AMI’s requested within about a week. Those took about 3 weeks to get back in. Scanned and emailed to the contact person on his instructions, and then received an “I don’t work in this department anymore but have forwarded your stuff to xxx”, a different tech about a week after sending in. Within a week, he was cleared and qualified. So almost 2 months from receiving the AMI request, but much of that was from us having to get his info (DR on vacation), having it sit at the wrong DODMERB techs desk. So actual processing time would have been about a 10 days. His letter said to allow 15. His USNA portal was updated the day after DODMERB qualified.

Biggest reason, imo, to get your application moving is to trigger DODMERB and deal with all this before ‘busy season’. Getting this piece out of the way is a good strategy. He was even able to have this reflected on his NROTC application. Not sure if it helps, but doesn’t hurt!
 

Devil Doc

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My daughter had the same condition which as of my last experience as a provider called patellofemoral syndrome. We were stationed at Camp Lejeune and after her orthopedic referral she had surgery at Bethesda when it was the big Naval Hospital in the sky. The senior pediatric ortho surgeon in the USN took her to the OR at age 12 and broke the top of the tibia, realigned the joint, and secured with two screws which are still in place. A shame really because she would have been a great cop, Marine, secret squirrel, or ninja. She still ran half marathons and is the mom of my two awesome grandsons. She would not though have qualified for military service with a diagnosis of PFS with subsequent hardware.

Good luck.
 

A6E Dad

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my DS was initially DQ'd for several knee issues including chrondomalacia (as well as asthma) and eventually got a waiver.

i'm no doctor, but as i've been told, chrondomalacia is basically roughed up surfaces/damage/scar tissue on the weight bearing cartilage surfaces. as our ortho described to me, basically anyone over age 40 probably has a fair amount of it.

in DS's case, he had a dislocated patella, and when the patella moved across the knee and out of it's groove, it scraped the cartilage below it, leading to chrondomalacia. a good friend of mine is a Navy 06 flight surgeon, and he told me that it's very common to get a waiver for it. the problem is usually the other DQ that caused the chrondomalacia (could be lots of things).

for all of DS's DQ's (i think there were four in total), we tried to be as proactive as possible. we educated ourselves on the DODMERB standards, and engaged the doctors and explained the standards (and showed them the documents), and got extra tests done (MRI for knee, methocholine test for asthma) so that the docs could produce evidence (records and letters) that supported the waiver decision.

we did that proactively, before a waiver was initiated, at our cost. you don't have to do that, and could can certainly wait until it's asked for. but you also run the risk that they may never ask for it and will make a decision based on what they have.

best of luck!
 

Heatherg21

USNA mom Bacon Lover Dog Lover
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He had AMI’s requested within about a week. Those took about 3 weeks to get back in. Scanned and emailed to the contact person on his instructions, and then received an “I don’t work in this department anymore but have forwarded your stuff to xxx”, a different tech about a week after sending in. Within a week, he was cleared and qualified. So almost 2 months from receiving the AMI request, but much of that was from us having to get his info (DR on vacation), having it sit at the wrong DODMERB techs desk. So actual processing time would have been about a 10 days. His letter said to allow 15. His USNA portal was updated the day after DODMERB qualified.

Biggest reason, imo, to get your application moving is to trigger DODMERB and deal with all this before ‘busy season’. Getting this piece out of the way is a good strategy. He was even able to have this reflected on his NROTC application. Not sure if it helps, but doesn’t hurt![/QUOTE
Thank you for the info. Thankfully we already have the med records related to his only 'yes' box on exam. If they need it he can send asap. Will just keep slogging along. Only thing he has left with USNA is CFA and hearing back from DODMERB. Personal statements still pending on 3 other SA's.
 

AFhopeful1197

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Feb 12, 2018
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My DS was DQd by DODMERB last year (had applied USAFA who did not ask for a waiver, received AFROTC scholarship who did ask for waiver- waiver denied) for hx chondromalacia patella and history or patello-femoral syndrome (never a big deal pain-wise we were just trying to be good parents and had him see ortho to ensure no issue that needed addressing because he wanted to keep training at a high level). 3 season varsity runner x 4 yrs of high school, never had surgery and never was held back from competing. It is a shame. I hope your son has a better outcome with DODMERB. We spoke with Glenn Merchant, DODMERB consultant, who had us submit extra letters from ortho/coaches to no avail. All the best to you and your son.
 

GLJQ

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Aug 18, 2019
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...sorry to hear this for your DS! Thanks for bringing 'reality' to the equation; it is indeed out of our hands and trust the outcome is 'what's best'!
 
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