Knee Question


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
May 23, 2007
My son was accepted into the class of 2011 at West Point and will report on 2 July. He had an accident earlier in the year and tore the ACL in his left knee. He had surgery to repair the ACL on March 26th and is now in rehab. The doctor says he is on track and should be 100% by the time he is scheduled to report. He is walking well but still not cleared to run--that should be approved soon. Per the cadet instructions he notified the Academy and DODMERB of his situation shortly after his surgery. DODMERB asked that we forward copies of all medical records and assessment by our Orthopedic Doctor within 90 days. The West Point admissions officer said to follow DODMERB's instructions and expect a thorough physical when he arrives. We have not yet sent any records to DODMERB and are holding off until the first week of June so we can include a very positive assessment by the doctor and his indication that my son should be 100% by the end of June.

My question is this: Should we wait til we get a 100% clearance from the doctor to submit the medical records (which will not be until the end of June) or send in partials now that show he is still in rehab and not 100% cleared. If he is cleared by his doctor by the time he reports to West Point will that be enough for DODMERB medical clearance?

What happens if for some reason he is almost 100% but not quite ready when he reports? Would he be disqualified?
Thanks for any advice you can provide.

I would submit all the medical records that you currently have on hand. Since this injury occurred recently, DoDMERB is going to disqualify him, since he has not returned to full activities, but that will insure that his package goes in front of the waiver board that much faster. You do not want to wait until the end of June, have the possibility that DoDMERB will disqualify and then not have enough time for the waiver board to review his case. In my experience it has always been better to provide the information earlier rather than later.

I would also submit a copy of everything to his admissions office, as well as a phone call to the admissions officer letting him/her know what is going on. Since he already has an appointment, they will do all that they can to ensure that he will be able to show up for R-day. If he is not 100% by R-day, they will not accept him. The risk of further injury is to great, and if he cannot keep up with his classmates, he is just hurting himself. If he does not make it in this year, most likely (and I speak from experience with USNA) WP will accept him next year.

ACL injuries are pretty common, so there is a lot of experience with them from both a DoDMERB and waiver authority standpoint. I would ensure that as new evaluations are received that you forward them on to both DoDMERB and WP. Personally I am concerned that his surgeon has stated the end of June before he is 100%. You don't want to be working in a vacuum, and the admissions office definitely does not like to work in a vacuum either. The earlier your son contacts his admissions officer, the more options that are available to him.

It is unfortunate that this occurred, but it can be overcome, it just may be a year later before your son's dream is realized.

edit: I would also ensure that your son does not push to hard. Follow the recomendations from the physician and the physical therapists. If he pushes to hard and re-injures himself it will not help anything.
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