Jump to content
Guest Swigs

Spine/spinal issues and waivers

Recommended Posts

Guest Swigs

Is a slight spinal curve DQin? I forget what it is called, but in middle school they said I had a slight curve. Scoliosis I think it is called. Anyways, It never gave me any problems.

[ 05. July 2004, 15:07: Message edited by: Swigs ]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Swigs,

AFI 48-123 states up to 20 degrees of thorassic and 30 deg of lumbar deviation is acceptable.

Go to your physician and have him/her take a guess using the procedure in 48-123 if you're that worried. But more than likely you're alright--20 to 30 deg of curvature is pretty Quasimodo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest pilot2Be

Quick question. I have a female friend who is seriously considering UPT. She is in a unique situation however. She has a congenital fusion of C4-C5. She has never had any type of surgery, however has occasional headaches from the fusion in her neck area. Is this a disqualifying condition, and if so, why? Any suggestions? Thanks for the imput.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest pilot2Be

F16pilotMD: I understand that a Surgical fusion is disqualifying, however how about a Congenital one? She has had this from birth, and is in no way deformed. The only problem she has is occasional muscle tension headaches in the back of her head/neck caused from the fusion. Any idea on this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest F16PilotMD

"Fusion involving more than two vertebrae"

I think that says it clearly. Regardless, I think it will be interpreted that way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest pilot2Be

are there any specific regs that I can look this information up?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will a slightly curved spine be a problem with my FC1? I've never experienced any physical problems because of it. I've never had any back problems ever. I went and got it checked out when I was in high school and the doc said he would call if there was anything wrong. He never called. Nevertheless, my right shoulder is slightly lower than my left.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Piperpilot2004

I had same question by you, so ill just copy what someone said-it sounds like you will be fine..

A7.27.1. Flying Classes I and IA: Same as Attachment A3.29. and the following:

A7.27.1.1.4. Lumbar scoliosis of more than 20 degrees or thoracic scoliosis of more than 25

degrees as measured by the Cobb method.

A3.29.3. Deviation or curvature of spine from normal alignment, structure, or function if: 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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest cb03t

I asked this question a while back about my spine. It was fractured in a car accident, and no rods were inserted. It fully healed and I am asymptomatic. I looked at the waiver guide at http://www.brooks.af.mil/web/consult_servi...ver%20guide.htm? and it spoke about compression fractures being waiverable for an FC1, but said that more extensive fractures would waiverable for an FCIIB. Does that mean my chances are shot? The waiver guideline seems vague, does the doctor who evaluates my back have the final say, or is the waiver guidlines the final word? Thanks in advance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not broken my back but do have compression deformities in some vertebre due to a genetic disease called Sheurman's (sp?) Disease. My FCI went in back in August or September and I was subsequently DQ'd from FCI, II, and III, because my vertebre were compressed more than 25% (which I believe I was told was the waiverable limit).

The b|tch of it is I sent records in showing I have never been treated for back pain, injury, or any other problem (see your asymptomatic). I had an MRI done by a civilian spine surgeon who stated that my condition should not limit me from any activity I wanted to take part in. An AF spine surgeon reviewed my MRI and said he also felt I should not be kept from flying. What sucks even more is that my PAS talked with the doctor that DQ'd me. As I understand it the doctor said that while his instinct said my back probably would not be a problem there was no prescident for him to write a waiver for it.

I was supposed to commission back in December but had it delayed until March 31 while I wait for the results of an Exception to Policy.

Bottom line cb03t, it will depend on what your specific circumstances are and how they fit within the regs, F16PilotMD can better tell you what they are then I could. If you do get DQ'd I say fight tooth and nail to find some way around it. The worst that could happen is they say no and you also get to spend some time being a college student without having to go to class which means any night you want. If they say yes it will have been well worth it.

Hope this helped some. Good luck and keep everyone posted.

Dude

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest cb03t

Docs,

The waiver guide doesn't address the fractures of the spine not related to compression (ejections), like mine. I have all the records from my surgery, post op reports and prognosis for the future. Am I missing something in the regs, or is it going to be up to the doctor that evaluates me as to whether or not I get a waiver or need one at all? I am confused as hell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest F16PilotMD

The reg is pretty clear I think. Your history of fracture is disqualying. The details of the injury you sustained, how it was treated, and your recovery will be the deciding factors in your waiver. There is just no way to predict the result. Get all the info together and hope for the best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few days ago I recieved an email from my NCO about something to do with an orthopedic surgeon. She gave me a letter from DoDMERB. This is the additional information they request:

R221.08 - Please obtain a NEW consultation by an orthopedic surgeon regarding limitations of spinal flexion as noted on physical exam. If either hospitalization or surgery were required for this condition, please provide a copy of the narrative summary and operative report and a written interpretation of appropriate x-ray films if they have been done, to the examining orthopedic surgeon for review and to this board with the orthopedic surgeon's current evaluation. Also provide information regarding extend of your participation in athletics during the past year. List and explain in detail if there were any restrictions imposed by the above condition or if any external support or braces were required...

Sounds scary and serious but never in my life have I had any sort of back problems. When I had my DoDMERB I was told I'm looking very healthy and good to go. Has anyone else experienced this sort of situation? The earliest I can have my orthopedic surgeon examination is next month, but I was just curious if this was something serious that will probably DQ me from flying. My eye vision was enough to worry about, now my back... :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest F16PilotMD

???

There were no abnormalities with your back?

If not, call and make sure they didn't make a mistake and notify the wrong person.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not that I know of. When I had my DoDMERBs I even asked the lady "so everything look alright?". She told me "Yep, you are looking healthy". lol

I have no history of any back problems. My physical I had at the beginning of this year I came out fine. During my K-12 years when checked for back problems, I was fine as well. *shrug*

On the paper I was sent though, it says my name though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest HuskyPilot

I did a search on spinal fusions. I've seen the "no waiver = no waiver" comment several times, but I've also read that it is waiverable. My question is (for the flight docs here who would know) how many waivers, if any, have been approved for spinal fusions for a FC1?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest P27:17

Where did you "read" it was waiverable for IFC 1?

The WAIVER GUIDE

Updated: 03/04 says the following...

Level of Disc Herniation Flying

Class Waiver Issued

Waiver Authority Waiting Period Post Treatment Required Studies

Cervical/thoracic/lumbar FC I/IA

No Waiver

N/A

N/A

There are waivers for rated (FC II)and FC III folks...not IFC 1/1A.

Is it possible (historically) for a "dog or cat" waiver to exist? Sure...although unlikely. There might also be an ETP or two but the general rule is no waiver for IFC 1 for spinal fusion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest doctidy

Agree. You have to understand that what may be waiverable for a trained aviator is not waiverable for an untrained one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest rockstar07

It looks like i have to get a microdiscectomy on my L5-S1. I just picked up a pilot slot this march with ROTC. I was wondering if any one had any information as to whether or not this is an auto DQ from the FC! or if there is any hope. Has anyone had this happen or gone through it recently? Is a waiver possible to still go to UPT? Assuming there is a solid recovery

For this matter is it even possible to still commisison?

Thanks for the help

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest P27:17
Just for the record i did a little searching, but the post i fould was about 2 years old so im wondering if there has been any changes.

It looks like i have to get a microdiscectomy on my L5-S1. I just picked up a pilot slot this march with ROTC. I was wondering if any one had any information as to whether or not this is an auto DQ from the FC! or if there is any hope. Has anyone had this happen or gone through it recently? Is a waiver possible to still go to UPT? Assuming there is a solid recovery

For this matter is it even possible to still commisison?

Thanks for the help

A flying waiver is very unlikely...a commission waiver will depend on the whole scenario. The first question AETC will ask is...if you are AFROTC, do they have an MRS on you so they can track your situation and progress. Talk to your Det NCO/CC and have them work this through AETC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest rockstar07

If more conservative methods (such as a chiro) were used to fix the disk, would it be as difficult to still get a flying wavier or would i still be on the same grounds as if i got the surgery.

Thanks for the help

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest P27:17
If more conservative methods (such as a chiro) were used to fix the disk, would it be as difficult to still get a flying wavier or would i still be on the same grounds as if i got the surgery.

Thanks for the help

I have to be careful here...I'm not a doctor. I am skeptical about the use of the chiropractor to fix your situation...it seems short term at best. It is likely that you will still be dq'd because the underlying condition still exists. You really need to talk with your doctor about the proper and best long term outcome...advise your detachment and keep AETC informed. Your health first...then let the other chips fall where they may.

Good luck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest rockstar07

In case its helpful for anyone in the future.

I had the surgery this summer. Submitted my paperwork to get off MRS and it was denied. Im pretty much getting disenrolled a few months short of comissioning. I half expected to lose the pilot slot but the No-COMM was a suprise. My PAS said there pretty much isn't anything I or He can do about this, and that more or less if i tried to get a wavier, it would be going back to the same people.

On a brigher note, another kid at my detachment had to get the same surgery in the same spot (microdiscectomy at L5-S1) and was released from MRS. I think he is even still allowed to compete for a pilot slot. Brooks may be another story for him, but thats the situation as of now.

I dont know what was different between the two, but there must have been something.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×