Broken Pelvis A Problem?

Caring for the warriors: How medics contribute to mission accomplishment.
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DeterminedToBe
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Broken Pelvis A Problem?

Post by DeterminedToBe »

Shortly after my senior year in high school I was involved in a pretty bad car accident in which I suffered fractures to my pelvis. Doctors gave me the option of implanting pins in my hip to ensure a good healing process, I denied them and luckily my bones fused back together very well. This was 5 years ago, since then I have made a great recovery, my bones have healed extremely well, and I have gotten myself back into pretty good shape. I want to join the Army, with an option 40 contract to be a Ranger.
Will these injuries I suffered years ago have any bearing on my ability to join the armed forces at all? And furthermore, will they effect my chances of getting a chance to attend Ranger school?
I had orthroscopic surgery on my hip and have 3 very small scars about 4 fingers down from my hip. I showed my recruiter and he advised me that when going to MEPS, if the doctor doing the physical asks about the scars that I should say I don't really remember what they are from, that I got them when I was a kid and faintly remember being in a doctors office and having them stitched up. Just to act confident and shrug is off saying I forget they are even there, and I have no problems.
I do not think this is the right thing to do, as I would have to fill out forms in which I deny ever having broken my hip in the first place. I do not want to lie.
So my questions are:
1- Will these injuries I suffered years ago and the following surgery have any bearing on my ability to join the armed forces at all? And furthermore, will they effect my chances of getting a chance to attend Ranger school?
2- Should I listen to my recruiters advice about the MEPS physical and just pretend I do not really remeber getting the scars, that they were form a long time ago and have no effect on me?
3- Will a waiver be necessary? And if so, how difficult will it be for me to obtain one?
Like I said, I do not experience any limitations, loss of flexibility, or pain associated with any of these injuries. Thank you in advance for all your help. It is appreciated more than you know.

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Earthpig
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Post by Earthpig »

Personally, I can't imagine that you'd fare very well in a Ranger Battalion if you went in with existing bulging discs. I'm no doctor, but the constant wear and tear on your spine from airborne ops, humping a ruck, etc. will eventually aggravate those herniations.

Additionlly, I don't think that there is a Ranger on this site who would tell you to lie to your recruiter.

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Sleepy Doc
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Post by Sleepy Doc »

It sound like you recruiter is trying to take you for a ride. Your injuries, even with pins wouldn't disqualify, so long as you have made a full recovery and have no issues with pain, range of motion, etc.

Here is a copy of the reg that states that:

This is from the May '07 copy of AR 40-501, Standards of Medical Fitness;

2–11. Miscellaneous conditions of the extremities

d. Fractures...

(2) Current retained hardware that is symptomatic, interferes with proper wearing of protective equipment or military uniform, and/or is subject to easy trauma, is disqualifying (V53.7). Retained hardware (733.99) (including plates, pins, rods, wires, or screws used for fixation) is not disqualifying if fractures are healed, ligaments are stable, there is no pain, and it is not subject to easy trauma.


I would be suspect if he says "forget" how you got the scars. This is a pretty significant injury, so you are better off with full disclosure. If he and MEPS give you a ration of shit even after seeing the reg, you can always go to another recruiter/MEPS to get in.

As long as you personal doc says you are G2G, and you have documentation saying it, there should be no problem.

Good luck and keep us posted



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Sleepy Doc
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Post by Sleepy Doc »

Shit! I just read your intro. You didn't say anything about "slight" bulges the first time. :? This changes things.

Well, you just might need a waiver depending upon how bad they are. Again if they don't cause any problem, you should be OK. As long as your personal doc is willing to vouch for it on paper. If you need to, print off a hard copy of the regulation and take it to your personal physician and see what he says.
B Co 3/75 '95-'99
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"ahh, Daniel-san.. When balance good, Karate good...everything good!.." K. Miyagi

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DeterminedToBe
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Post by DeterminedToBe »

Hey Ranger Sleepy Doc, thank you very much...You have just given me the best news I have ever recieved. Ever. I mean that.
I hope the 'slight bulges' would not be a problem, I didn't know I had them, and never would have if my doctor didn't decide to take a cervical MRI of my spine 2 years following the accident causing my initial injuries. I've never had any pain with them at all. I wish I had turned down the MRI's and just not known about them at all at this point.
I will make an appointment to see my orthapedist and have him sign off for me. Or would it be better for me to get the 'ok' from my orthapedic surgeon instead? He is a specialist.

Worst case scenario, if I have to get a waiver will that effect my chances of trying out for the Rangers?

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Sleepy Doc
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Post by Sleepy Doc »

Check the post I put in the sticky on waivers. Talk to your own doc because he knows you. If your personal physician agrees and doesn't think it will be a problem down the road, then go for it.

Just understand that at any point you may be told "Thanks, but no.."
B Co 3/75 '95-'99
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"ahh, Daniel-san.. When balance good, Karate good...everything good!.." K. Miyagi

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Post by Leatherneck »

Just go to MEPs and tell them the truth. They're going to send you for an eval with a doc and if your injuries are healed then he's going to give you a 1 on you PUHLES and its not going to matter. That's infinitely better than having to wonder all the way through recruit training if you're going to get hurt and have the cat come out of the bag on an x-ray (where I'm sure they can still see traces of your fractures. The recruiters would rather you go and lie b/c it's easier and faster for them. They don't have to live with the consequences. Do not lie at MEPs.
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Post by DJB »

bulging disks are an incidental finding on a significant number of MRI's that I see. In other words people live very active lives with no indication that they have bulges or herniations. Alone they are not a disqualifier, however if they are associated with any clinical debility you may be out of luck. That being said, I doubt you have tested your body the way it will be tested once in the military and if you suffer injury while in basic training that is attributed to a pre-existing condition you may not be reimbursed. Good luck.
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