POST DoDMERB Torn Labrum + Biceps Tendon

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by Tiger2020, Jul 3, 2018.

  1. Tiger2020

    Tiger2020 New Member

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    CONTRACTED ROTC 4-year scholarship winner approaching MS3 (assessment) year. I am a varsity rugby player and just found out that in the course of my fall season and the subsequent pushing through shoulder pain during PT that I have torn both the biceps tendon and labrum in my left shoulder. There is no way to tell whether the tears come directly from rugby or whether the sport was exacerbation and the tears occurred more recently during subsequent routine PT. These tears have occurred post-contracting and post-scholarship awarding, with no other history of injury to the shoulder. However, I have already received a DoD waiver for a herniated disk.

    Under DoDI 6130.03, limited shoulder mobility is a cause for disqualification, as is "history of dislocation or instability" in the shoulder. Neither of these applies to me; this is a new, acute injury with a good prognosis for treatment and recovery.

    As it stands, I see three choices: I can disclose this injury and receive either intensive PT or surgery to repair the tears. My orthopedist, physical therapist, and strength coach all recommend the latter; but either of these treatment options would improve the condition without violating the standards for shoulder mobility set forth in DoDI 6130.03. The third choice is to say nothing and continue with training. This would not improve the condition but if the injury is disqualifying then it is my only option.

    I am looking for second opinions before I make any decisions about what, if anything, to disclose to my unit cadre. Does anyone have any experience with a similar injury?

    EDIT: Even with this shoulder injury, which has persisted throughout the year, I have never failed an APFT and am able to maintain passing standards even with rudimentary function.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2018
  2. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator

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    Once you have passed DoDMERB (even with a waiver) the program has an investment in you.

    However, your DA 597-3 scholarship contract states under Section 9 (Compliance with and changes in eligibility requirement).... that you:

    "...agree to inform the PMS of any change of my eligibility (medical and non-medical) based on current or revised requirements as soon as I know or should have known of a change in my eligibility status. Failure to so advise the PMS may result in dis-enrollment. "
    Based on your contract, you MUST notify your PMS/cadre of your injury.

    My DS broke three bones in his MS-2 year (on AROTC scholarship) and cadre was very supportive during his recovery. He goes to Advanced Camp this summer.

    Source:
    https://armypubs.army.mil/pub/eforms/DR_a/pdf/A597_3.pdf
     
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  3. Tiger2020

    Tiger2020 New Member

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    Roger that. Thank you very much for the quick reply.
     
  4. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    First... you don't have a choice.... you have to report it per your contract.
    Second, I know plenty of midshipmen who were seriously injured (broken arm, severe sprain) who were excused from at least portions of PT if not entirely. When they recovered there were no issues. I don't think you're in any danger of losing your scholarship, at least immediately, and not at all if healing occurs properly. In any case your health is way more important than a commission.

    BTW - the fact that you're so damn healthy would point to rapid healing in my opinion. I would also report it prior to actually pursuing treatment, but I would be able to explain the treatment options. I say this in case there is a preference. Make sure your cadre is on board on this. I'd start with them.

    EDIT: Cross posted with AROTC-dad

    EDIT: Keep in mind I'm not a doctor!!!! :confused:
     
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  5. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator

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    +1 Kinnem.

    Back in early 2017, my DS showed up to PT on crutches until his platoon leader sent him home! He missed PT for about 3 weeks and then started up on a limited basis. By the end of the semester he had his personal best APFT 293...(still runs slow).
     
  6. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt 5-Year Member

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    Just a quick question (for any future readers)...

    I assume that an "official" medical chit would exempt the OP from having to pass the PFT in order to trigger tuition, scholarship monies, etc. Is that correct?

    OP states he "can" pass the test with this injury but I would think the better course is to focus on healing and going on light duty.
     
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  7. Tiger2020

    Tiger2020 New Member

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    USCMGrunt:

    You are correct. An official profile and waiver can exempt the cadet from needing to pass her PFT. However, scholarship monies will not be paid to the cadet's institution until she can again pass the APFT.
     
  8. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator

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    In my DS's case, he had his accident (snowboarding) in January, during winter break and had already passed the APFT in order to authorize the payment for Spring semester tuition due at the end of the break.

    Timing is everything, right?
     
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  9. GoCubbies

    GoCubbies Member

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    I would get this fixed if I were you. A torn labrum isn't good because you'll probably have quite a bit of joint laxity in the left shoulder. Because of the laxity, you will either have frequent subluxations (top part of the army bone (humeral head) slips in and out of the shoulder joint) or frank dislocations. If you have a dislocation (shoulder out of socket), then you will need to get that put back in probably in the ER. It'll also cause further damage to your labrum and rotator cuff.

    You will be doing a lot of activities in the Army that will cause your arm to be in a abducted and externally rotate position (e.g. going through an obstacle course, swimming using the freestyle stroke, MFF school, airborne school where you'll have to reach above your head to grab the toggles, etc). This position will put a weak joint at risk for subluxation or outright dislocation.

    I'm thinking you're a righty. If you were a lefty, then you'd have issues throwing things (you will do stuff in the Army where you'll thrown things like a... grenade) if your left labrum is torn.

    You shouldn't have a problem continuing on with ROTC so long as you're back to full activities with no restrictions.