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Unread 04-08-2011, 06:54 AM
 
Location: Lacey, WA
291 posts, read 409,269 times
Reputation: 90
Default Joining the military with scoliosis

How possible is it to join the military with scoliosis? I'm 29, have a thoracic curve just over 30 degrees (the cut off) but I've been cleared by my back specialist that it won't get any worse. It doesn't bother me or hurt me like when I was a growing girl. You can't even tell that I have it when looking at me.

Any suggestions? I'm not going to hide it. I'm thinking I must just talk to a recruiter and see what they say. I'm pretty sure I could get a waiver but I don't know if it will get me anywhere. Is it one of those things where I need to just try it?

Thanks
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Unread 04-09-2011, 05:40 PM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
518 posts, read 968,087 times
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Your best bet is to talk to a recuiter as it may be waiverable, but I found this info:

- Joining the Military - Military.com

The causes for rejection for appointment, enlistment, and induction are:

(4) There is lumbar scoliosis greater than 20 degrees, thoracic scoliosis greater than 30 degrees, and kyphosis or lordosis greater than 55 degrees when measured by the Cobb method.
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Unread 04-10-2011, 06:58 AM
 
2,893 posts, read 3,796,412 times
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Before seeing a recruiter gather all of your medical docs, including a letter from your doctor stating that you have no restrictions for any physical activity. If a recruiter will work with you, one form you'll have to fill out is the 2807/medical pre-screen. On it you will have to explain your scoliosis. In your statement make sure you close it out with any physical activities you do and line akin to "My scoliosis doesn't restrict me in any way."

All that said, you will still probably be disqualified at MEPS, but that's not the end of the story. The service can request a waiver from their doctors. For the Marines, in the Marines you will have to fill out a "why I want to be a Marine" statement, a statement on why you are requesting a waiver (basically a statement explaining your medical history w/scoliosis in even greater detail), and what's called a "level of activity" statement, which is a series of questions used to judge how active you are currently. I advise you take up a sport, attend recruiter workouts, or start going to aerobic/fitness classes now if you are out of school. that way you have something recent to put on the statement. All of this along with your physical you take at MEPS is forwarded to the Naval Bureau of Medicine for a waiver. I'm not sure what the waiver process is for the other branches. I imagine the Navy's is similar. I've seen the waiver process take over 6 months in some cases.
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Unread 04-10-2011, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Lacey, WA
291 posts, read 409,269 times
Reputation: 90
Thank you so much for that info. That's the most I've seen in my research online. I am out of school (I'm 29), working full time. I used to go to the gym almost every day before I started working again (my husband was deployed and I wasn't able to find a job and was also working on my resident visa, I'm Canadian) but I haven't been in 5 months. Guess I better get back in to it!
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Unread 06-04-2011, 05:03 AM
 
Location: Lacey, WA
291 posts, read 409,269 times
Reputation: 90
Just an update, I contacted the Air Guard and Navy Reserve. The Navy recruiter said I can't get a waiver if my curve is over 30. I just found out yesterday from my orthopedic that my curve is exactly 30. I'm going on Wednesday to do a practice ASVAB.

I haven't heard back from the Air Guard yet. I spoke with them over the phone for their pre-evaluation and mentioned I have scoliosis under the limit but they said it was up to the recruiter to call me next for more info.

It almost feels like they don't want me to try and join but maybe that's just my internal doubts about it all.
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Unread 06-04-2011, 07:39 AM
 
Location: Lacey, WA
291 posts, read 409,269 times
Reputation: 90
Bah, nevermind. I need 2 years on my permanent residency and there is 4 months. I have to renew it but I can only do it within 90 days of it expiring so I have to wait for that now. =/
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Unread 06-04-2011, 04:30 PM
 
8,595 posts, read 7,819,402 times
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I've spent 23 yrs working in military medicine and over that time, back pain might be the number one ailment that I've seen walking into the medical clinics. The military is pretty manually intensive. You need to be able to lift heavy objects, and carry heavy packs on your back, wear body armor and a kevlar helmet. The military shouldn't be a career choice for someone prone to developing debilitating back problems under the physical stress of being a Soldier. The military is always medically discharging folks because of chronic back pain - and the VA is probably likewise spending millions of dollars in disability compensation and healthcare for people w/ back pain. It wouldn't make sense to accept recruits who already have a suspicious condition before even putting on a uniform.

Just my opinion.
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Unread 06-04-2011, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Lacey, WA
291 posts, read 409,269 times
Reputation: 90
I work out regularly and have no problems. My ortho has even cleared me.
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Unread 06-04-2011, 05:14 PM
 
8,595 posts, read 7,819,402 times
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Cleared you for what? Wearing 40 lbs of body armor, a 40 lbs pack on your back, and carrying a heavy M16 weapon. Curious if the orthopod cleared you for all of that. Not sure about the Navy and Air Force, but ALL Soldiers are required to be a basic Soldier first, even if you have a desk job. You'll deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan or other places where this equipment is required to be worn without exception.
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Unread 06-04-2011, 05:43 PM
 
Location: New Mexico USA
15,800 posts, read 14,802,455 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BucFan View Post
I've spent 23 yrs working in military medicine and over that time, back pain might be the number one ailment that I've seen walking into the medical clinics. The military is pretty manually intensive. You need to be able to lift heavy objects, and carry heavy packs on your back, wear body armor and a kevlar helmet. The military shouldn't be a career choice for someone prone to developing debilitating back problems under the physical stress of being a Soldier. The military is always medically discharging folks because of chronic back pain - and the VA is probably likewise spending millions of dollars in disability compensation and healthcare for people w/ back pain. It wouldn't make sense to accept recruits who already have a suspicious condition before even putting on a uniform.

Just my opinion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BucFan View Post
Cleared you for what? Wearing 40 lbs of body armor, a 40 lbs pack on your back, and carrying a heavy M16 weapon. Curious if the orthopod cleared you for all of that. Not sure about the Navy and Air Force, but ALL Soldiers are required to be a basic Soldier first, even if you have a desk job. You'll deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan or other places where this equipment is required to be worn without exception.
If Melissa82 legally meets all the requirements of entering U.S. Military service, who are you to try and discourage her?

Just my opinion.



Rich
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