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arm injury during UPT


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#1 Guest_tonepilot86_*

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 07:32 PM

Hey everyone, I did a search on this and couldn't find what I was looking for in the way of advice. Basically I'm a T-1 student, only about a month from graduation, navigation and transition checks complete with good scores. Recently I was at the gym and seemed to injure myself on the bench press. No severe pain but some tightness in my shoulder and chest that made it uncomfortable to lift anymore. I took some time off of it (about a week) and tried to do some pushups and the pain came back. I layed off of any exercise for a couple more days and tried pushups again, and experienced the same pain again. So my situation is whether or not to go to the flight doc about something that seems minor, but could be made major, right before graduation. My biggest fear is being washed back and having everything that I've done up to now being for nothing. What complicates things is that I have a PFT in about 3 weeks and I don't think I could do the pushups as of right now. Sorry this was a bit long-winded, but I'm looking for any advice I can get.
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#2 Riebs

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 07:53 PM

I would flight doc it man. Failing a PFA because of an injury you knew you had and didn't go in for...weak.

I would say stay off it for another 2 weeks and see how it feels. 1 week prior to your fit test (if it still hurts) hit up the doc...More than likely you won't even get the DNIF.
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#3 Guest_tonepilot86_*

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 08:51 PM

I would flight doc it man. Failing a PFA because of an injury you knew you had and didn't go in for...weak.

I would say stay off it for another 2 weeks and see how it feels. 1 week prior to your fit test (if it still hurts) hit up the doc...More than likely you won't even get the DNIF.


Yeah I agree, the only thing that I'm worried about is not being able to take the PFA with my class and getting pushed back (because they're most likely going to tell me to take it easy and have physical therapy on it). I'm not really familiar with how that works. Does it push everything back and I don't graduate with my class? And if I'm pushed back, how does that affect my assignment?
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#4 magnetfreezer

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 09:14 PM

Yeah I agree, the only thing that I'm worried about is not being able to take the PFA with my class and getting pushed back (because they're most likely going to tell me to take it easy and have physical therapy on it). I'm not really familiar with how that works. Does it push everything back and I don't graduate with my class? And if I'm pushed back, how does that affect my assignment?


If it's the official AF PFA, go to the flight doc and get it documented on an AF Form 469 (seriously). They'll then send you to the physical therapy folks who will write up the profile (form 422) to exempt you from any exercises you can't do. If you don't do pushups, the score will be computed according to the remaining components (total points out of 90 instead out of 100).
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#5 Huggyu2

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 10:05 AM

I am going through a probable rotator cuff tear that wasn't handled in a timely manner.
You must weigh a potential washback with getting your injury seen to now.
If you see the doc, explain it to him, and see if he will work with your timeline.

... Of course, 500mg of naproxen twice a day for 2 weeks seems to be a good bet...
but that will probably be considered DNIF'ing, so I'd recommend against it.

Edited by Huggyu2, 27 October 2010 - 10:06 AM.

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#6 AZwildcat

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 02:27 PM

I had a similar problem though not as extreme. Tweaked my left shoulder on the bench and I found it painful to do any kind of pushup motion. I had some elastic workout bands lying around and I used them to do my own rehab. If you Google "rubber band workout" you'll find plenty of exercises. It really helped even after a couple workouts. I would also try and adjust your pushup form, maybe bring your hands in closer and try to use more of your triceps. Maybe you won't max it but who cares, you're just trying to get the minimum.

Bottom line, bring this up to your class CC first. They're scheduling PFTs a few weeks out from graduation now so if someone fails, they'll have time to retake before the deadline. If you don't think you're in danger of failing the run or situps I would see if you can get the test rescheduled and buy yourself a couple weeks.

navigation and transition checks complete with good scores.


Unless it's affecting your flying (nosing over on the Devil's 2 arrival can be strenuous) I would finish up your mission fam check first before you go see the flight doc. You'll probably be done around drop time anyway.
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#7 Guest_redbaron_*

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 10:26 PM

Similar question- my shoulder started bothering me while doing push-ups and the bench press. I saw my civilian doctor who thinks it's osteolysis of the ac joint. It can heal itself with rest but takes about 6 months for the bone to regrow. Surgery is also an option which will shorten that time to 2-3 months. The problem is that I am supposed to start UPT this February.

I can suck it up during push-ups for the fitness test but there's no way I could do the bench press for the FACT. Even without the injury I would've needed to be hitting the gym regularly to work up to the 80% weight. I'm guard, so I am not at my base yet or on casual status so even if I did want to see a flight doc I'm not sure who I'd go to.

What do you recommend? Should I see a flight doc? Can this disqualify me or wash me back? Especially if I am not able to get to the point where I can pass the FACT before T-38s?
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#8 brabus

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 10:15 AM

You don't take the FACT until the beginning of T-38s, so you've got time to rest/recover from surgery. The question is does it affect your ability to fly at all? I would try to talk to a flt doc somewhere who would be able to find out how long the surgery would DNIF you for. I'm just guessing, but I would think surgery will most likely push your start date back, but a few months may be worth it to get your shoulder back to normal.
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#9 osulax05

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 11:09 AM

Vance used to have guys take the FACT at the beginning of Phase I, but I don't think you need to pass it until you start flying in -38's.

It's tough to recommend guys go see a doc before or during UPT. But when it comes down to it, it is your health and well being. There are worse things in the world than getting your UPT dates moved back (i.e. permanent DNIF because you destroyed your shoulder). Not saying this is what will happen but I've seen a number of people make things much tougher on themselves because they were afraid to see the Flight Doc. If you do decide to see the Flight Doc, I would recommend seeing one at your Guard base. Trying to get seen for something other than a normal physical or return to fly at a UPT base is like pulling teeth.
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#10 Guest_redbaron_*

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 11:59 AM

Thanks for your responses. It doesn't affect my flying ability at all, or even day to day. Only pushups and bench press.

I'll be at Columbus and my understanding is that we have to do the FACT during phase 1 sometime during those first 6 weeks. That's all hearsay though- you know how rumor mills are.

For the fitness test you can get a form/ waiver to not take certain parts- can you do that for the FACT? I can pass everything else no problem.

What's the worst that can happen- what happens if I get to T-38s my shoulder still isn't healed enough to pass? Worst case I get pushed back a few months? That wouldn't be the end of the world as long as they won't kick me out for it. I just get concened because at this point the Air Force hasn't spent enough money on me to justify keeping me if I become a hassle haha.

If UPT does have to get pushed back should I make the call now or wait until I'm there and have at least made it through some of the training?
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#11 osulax05

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 02:15 PM

Never heard of a FACT "profile", my guess would be that there isn't one.

Do it now. You don't want to start training knowing that you might have issues. Also, rejoining training where you left off is tough with minimal spin up in the jet and you would probably join a new class which can be weird.

Also, if you can get seen by a flight doc prior to getting to Columbus you may just stay at your unit until you are healed which will keep you out of the casual pool at Columbus. Always a good thing.

Good Luck and don't suck!
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#12 brabus

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 09:14 PM

I completely forgot about the one at the beginning of T-6s as it didn't matter for shit...the "real" one is at the beginning of 38s. I agree with osulax...you're better off dealing with the med stuff now and possibly postponing UPT start than you are getting to Phase 3 and then dealing with it, leading to washing back several classes, out of flying for a few months in between T-6s and T-38s, etc. Option A is much better than Option B.
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#13 Guest_redbaron_*

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 02:29 PM

Thanks for the advice. I am continuing to pursue it with my civilian doctor for now and it seems to be improving. Have an MRI on Monday. Once I get to UPT if it is still bothering me I'll take your advice and flight doc it. Thanks again!
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