NROTC Marine Option Shoulder Surgery Waiver

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by johnny1530, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. johnny1530

    johnny1530 Member

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    I am applying for the NROTC MO scholarship and I plan on earning a commission as a Marine officer after I graduate. Only problem is that I have dislocated my shoulder about 4 times and my doctors are telling me that I need surgery to stabilize it. THERE ARE NO TEARS IN THE MUSCLES OR LIGAMENTS, the surgery is just to tighten the ligaments surrounding it. I know that having a shoulder operation can potentially disqualify you from service. Do any of you know if they grant waivers often for shoulder surgeries, especially in the Marines? I have decent to good stats otherwise (30 ACT, 3.9 GPA, 273 PFT, clean record, and an athlete). Will I be in a good position to get a waiver for my surgery especially if my doctor writes me notes?

    PS: also, I am having the surgery done by one of the top doctors at Johns-Hopkins and he told me he has done the exact same procedure on prospective Army ROTC guys in the past who didn't have much of a problem getting the waiver. I always thought that the army was a little more lenient than the Marines though. In general, is it more difficult for Marines to get waivers on this kind of thing than Army guys?

    If you have any past experiences or know of someone who dealt with the same or similar issue, please let me know what happened to them.

    Any other advice on this matter would be great, Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  2. Dial the gate

    Dial the gate 5-Year Member

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    johnny1530, I don't have specific advice or experience for you, sorry! But we will pray for you that all will be well. My DS had surgery for a torn labrum after dislocating it several times. He too is hoping for a speedy recovery and waiver for NROTC. Good luck!
     
  3. johnny1530

    johnny1530 Member

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    What have people told your son? Do they believe that his waiver request will be approved?
     
  4. Dial the gate

    Dial the gate 5-Year Member

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    All we can do is go through the process. Pray, plan and prepare for every outcome. From what we understand, thanks to many knowledgeable people here as well as speaking directly with a DoDMERB representative, he needs to email her all of his doctor records pertaining to the injury (I say doctor, not medical records because they do not want X-rays/MRI/any other scans, just the doctor's findings, they also do not want anything from the physical therapists). Once they have received from the doctor that he has full range of motion and unrestricted activity, they will review his record in its entirety. There is also a 6-month post-surgery stipulation in there...this is where we are a little fuzzy, I think that means even if he is completely cleared within 6-months, they will still wait until the 6-month mark to start the review...

    Our philosophy is that the shoulder was not going to heal and the surgery was required to lead a healthy active life. Really really unfortunate that the injury happened and happened after he was DoDMERB qualified already, but such is life with opting out of the bubble wrap route.

    The first 3 times DS's shoulder was "injured", he just followed the football trainers' advice and "therapy" hoping it would heal itself and he would not have to go to the doctor (which of course you have to report). Each week, he would sit out of practice and be miraculously healed to play on Friday. This is a kid who started racing motocross at 3 years old, started doing backflips at 8 on his BMX bike at Camp Woodward, with a resulting 9 broken bones, so he has a very high pain tolerance and is used to getting banged up and jumping right back in. But we had to face reality with this one. It just wasn't healing itself. Resulting MRI showed a torn labrum. We asked the doc to do surgery right away so that he would meet the 6-month mark for his USNA hope. Once the doc got in there, there was more torn than showed up on the MRI (that part is scary!) but he would not be able to do pull-ups, rough and tumble stuff like hand-to-hand combat training, slamming down on the ground doing burpees, falling off a log or wall on an obstacle course...the list goes on and on, without the possibility of reinjury. Or even just the prospect of constant pain and worry in a civilian life.

    So, very long story short! My mom advice to you would be to get your shoulder fixed and go from there. If you have seen a doctor for the shoulder injury, then you have to answer yes on the application. The next question that always follows is explain treatment and end results. It sounds like you don't have any end results, just that you don't have any tears. Will your doc say you have full range of motion with unrestricted activity? And will DoDMERB feel like what they know about dislocated shoulders (instability and the likelihood of reinjury in the military's line of work), this is good enough or will they feel like it is an unresolved issue? Give the DoDMERB help desk a call if you want, we didn't find them extremely helpful, but DS had called to inform them of the surgery and ask advice, at that point she revoked his qualified status and concentrated on moving us forward. They aren't there to give medical or treatment advice. I have read where people have posted that they were very helpful and gave great guidance, we just didn't have that experience. DS got off the phone and said, "well, she was professional and helpful in making me feel completely screwed." Lol.

    I'm going to stop typing now! Good luck!!
     
  5. AJC

    AJC Member

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    My son got an AROTC waiver for a repaired torn Labrum
     
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  6. Dial the gate

    Dial the gate 5-Year Member

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    DS received the coveted status of "full range of motion and pain free" at his follow-up appt this week! Yay! He sent off all records to DoDMERB and received an email stating that his records were sent to USNA and NROTC to begin the waiver process. 3months post surgery and he is doing push-ups! The body is an amazing thing!
     
  7. Love4monsters

    Love4monsters Member

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    Yay! My son had shoulder labrum surgery on 8/3 and was waived by USNA at not quite the 6 month mark. USMA waived at the 2.5 month mark but Navy had a color vision DQ waiver to consider. I'm thinking super positive thoughts!

    He had his DODMERB physical 2 days before his surgery so it was a DQ from the beginning.
     
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  8. Dial the gate

    Dial the gate 5-Year Member

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    Wow! Love4monsters, that must have been tough going to the physical knowing it would result in a DQ! So glad your DS healed up and got the waivers! 2.5 months for USMA, that's great! Wish USNA and NROTC were that quick and would put us out of our misery! Lol. So so fortunate that DS has the NROTC scholarship but still so worried about the waiver outcome. Thank you for the positive thoughts! Good luck to you guys and lots of prayers your way!
     
  9. Love4monsters

    Love4monsters Member

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    Thanks! It was a little disheartening to go into the process knowing it would be a DQ but he had to start somewhere. USMA appointed on 1/20/17 and his waivers were approved for USNA but still CPR.

    Glad to hear your son had a good result.
     
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  10. Dial the gate

    Dial the gate 5-Year Member

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    DoDMERB updated today: waiver granted for NROTC!!!!

    So so excited and relieved! DS is currently four and a half months post shoulder surgery (torn labrum and shredded capsule). Everything we have read is that Navy (both ROTC and USNA) waits until after the six month post surgery mark to waiver, so glad this was not the case today! Still nothing from USNA but DS is ecstatic with Auburn!

    Thank you to everyone who offered great advice and kind words of patience and encouragement!!!
     
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  11. Love4monsters

    Love4monsters Member

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    Woot woot! Celebrate that victory!
     
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