Need some help and advice (repost from “Army Forum”)

Zadams

Registered Member
Hello all,
Background: 9 years AD

This might be a little long winded, but I could really use some insight.

Recently, I just went through my second shoulder surgery for a repeat labrum tear, and my doc is recommending a total shoulder replacement to be conducted in March. He said I have completely lost all cartilage in my shoulder, and I will continue to get worse. Additionally, I had a surgery to correct a deviated septum in Aug of 2014, but my septum is still slightly deviated as seen by the naked eye. I broke my collar bone in 2013 on the same side I had both shoulder surgeries. My AC joint is severely separated on the same side, and my first surgery consisted of moving my biceps tendon (biceps tenodesis), cutting 1/2” off the end of my clavical (distal clavical excision), and a SLAP and Bankhart repair. Mobility is generally non-existent in my shoulder.

On top of all my shoulder issues, I have been experiencing chronic lower back pain for the last 7 years, which are all documented by a plethora of paperwork. I’ve had several epidurals, and facet injections to burn the nerve endings off in my lower back, as well as several years of PT and Pain Management. My doc is recommending a spinal fusion to correct my herniated discs and degenerative disc disease. My mobility in my lower back is pretty terrible as well.

What should I do? Do I have enough of a case to warrant a Med Board?

I am sick of being broken, and I don’t want to go through this for another 11 years.

Thank you all!
 

Andy22

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Hey, welcome to the forum. At first glance, it looks like you you’d be a potential candidate, but no one here can accurately gauge your medical limitations through simple posts.

I don’t know much about shoulder, but I’ve been through the gauntlet on back/spine injuries. Right off the bat, I’d recommended you ask to get a second opinion for that herniated disc. There are several less invasive procedures to correct herniated discs (I.e. discectomies) as I've had a few. Fusions scare me.
 

Zadams

Registered Member
Hey, welcome to the forum. At first glance, it looks like you you’d be a potential candidate, but no one here can accurately gauge your medical limitations through simple posts.

I don’t know much about shoulder, but I’ve been through the gauntlet on back/spine injuries. Right off the bat, I’d recommended you ask to get a second opinion for that herniated disc. There are several less invasive procedures to correct herniated discs (I.e. discectomies) as I've had a few. Fusions scare me.
Hey, thanks for the reply! Unfortunately ,I’ve had three opinions and 2/3 states fusion, and the other stated to implant a dorsal column stimulator in my spine. The stimulator seemed like the scary option due to having to change the battery every five years, and needing to do surgery to do it lol. The fusion was recommended mostly due to the large amount of disc height lost and the amount of arthritis I already have. It seems like maybe I dealt with the pain too long, whereas I might be past the less invasive procedures. Idk...
 

Andy22

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Well, if you’re deciding surgery, I’d go down that road first. I’m no professional, but from what I understand, your condition needs to be “stable” before the Army releases you. I’m sure some others on here could do a much better job explaining this
 

Mike2686

Registered Member
My original MEB was started because I had Chondromalacia Patella grade 4 (Spelled something like that) in both of my knees. I tried hard to push through it, but ultimately my 1SG/Commander pushed for me to get checked out. It had gotten to the point that standing up from sitting in a chair was painful. Walking up and down stairs was painful. No matter how much I brushed it off after a while they didn't and basically forced me to go in.

Once the Xrays/MRI results were in and revealed what I had, I was told to get knee injections/Physical therapy. I tried the injections/Physical therapy first they didn't work. The physical therapy never really had a chance due to the type of injury and the injections were 50/50 best case.

When I started I was told that an MEB would be after every possible option was exhausted. If you are to that point then they may recommend the MEB. If you have a history of the same injury bothering you after trying to get it worked out then they might recommend an MEB without trying anything else. They may also, have you go through the surgery and if you are still having issues, start the MEB after that.

If you feel that you are too "broken" then sit down with the doc and explain everything. Tell him/her about every pain you have. Look over your history with the doctor, and see what he/she says afterwards. Their may be enough to start an MEB now, or the doctor might still recommend going through the surgery and other options before and hope that it helps.

Goodluck!
 
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