CVN-71

Maintain Copies Of Your Medical Records

Medical Conditions Normally Waiverable

Part two of the what will and what won’t keep you out of the United States Navy medically (provided in the cases listed a waiver is granted). Part one discussed conditions that normally would not qualify for a waiver – this installment discusses the conditions in which a waiver may be granted.

If you appear to be, in all other respects, qualified for enlistment but reveal a history of one or more of the following common conditions you must be advised that the treatment records or a written summary from your private or attending physician will be of value to the examining Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) physician during the pre-enlistment physical examination and may reduce the possibility of temporary medical disqualification.

If you are considering a future in the armed forces there is no time like the present to start gathering the records of your medical past. The medical records will be sent to the MEPS in advance for a medical review so having them ready will save you a ton of time. Having the records may also preclude you from having to attend outsourced consultations which could ultimately delay even further your enlistment.

Please keep in mind this list is not all-inclusive.

Medical conditions which are normally considered waiverable (information consolidated from MEPCOM and COMNAVCRUITCOM Instructions);

A note to everyone: The advice and prognostications I deliver in the comments and via email are based on my experiences, and only take into account the information you provide. I do not have the benefit of the “whole person.” So, please see a Recruiter, no matter what, and have your documentation sent to MEPS for a definitive review. I am not answering for the Navy!
Although rare, I have been known to be wrrree, wrea, wrong


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1,588 Responses to “Medical Conditions Normally Waiverable”


  1. cole says:

    forgot to add I had an ultrasound and all checked out good and my doctor said i would be fine my whole life.

  2. Matt says:

    Just got through meps. Recommended for a waiver. Now I wait.

  3. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Matt,

    Fingers crossed. Good luck!

  4. Matt says:

    Thanks NCCM! Hopefully it goes smoothly, the liaison office said it’ll be two weeks to hear back, unless N3M requires more documentation. Which is good news because there is absolutely nothing that hasn’t been furnished or requested already.

  5. Rob says:

    Navydoc,

    can you describe which labral repair procedures are PDQ? and are some more favorable than others?

    thanks

  6. Rob says:

    Navydoc, just to follow up, is a labral repair in and of itself disqualifying ? (if it’s not SLAP or Bankhart) Or is it just a “history of instability”? The reason i’m asking is I injured mine without dislocation and it is not unstable, but I am considering arthroscopy. Thank you

  7. navydoc says:

    Rob,
    By definition, labral tears result in an unstable shoulder, and are therefor DQ.

  8. Rob says:

    Navydoc,

    Thanks for the response. I won’t ask you to speculate because I know each case is different, but are waivers for a labral repair fairly common if there was no history of dislocation?

  9. cole says:

    navydoc, i was still wondering if my spermatic cyct was an issue on enlistment in the navy? I had an ultrasound and the doctor said i was ok and it would not be a problem going on in life. What do u think?

  10. navydoc says:

    cole,
    Spermatocele is not disqualifying.

  11. paulD says:

    My 17 year old son has expressed an interest in joining pursuing the simultaneous enlistment program with the army reserves or army national guard and ROTC while attending college. I think that he would also be willing to consider a similar simultaneous enlistment program or a ROTC only program with another branch of the armed services.

    He has spoken to an army reserve recruiter and told the recruiter that he has been diagnosed with flat feet. The recruiter stated that as long as my son does not experience pain as a result of his flat feet it should not be a problem getting through MEPS. My son is a competitive runner who on a daily basis runs five to ten miles in training without any problem so the recruiter did not think the diagnosis of flat feet would be a problem for him.

    After doing some research on the internet, I am suspicious of the recruiter’s opinion. As I looked at various forums, I found a wide variety of opinions regarding the extent to which flat feet presents a barrier to enlistment. I think that the disagreement likely arises from the fact that a diagnosis of flat feet comes in various degrees severity so perhaps no hard and fast rules apply. Consistent with my suspicions, I noted a DOD regulation that states that a diagnosis of flat feet with a history of treatment with prescription orthotics inserts does not meet standard. This DQ would apply to my son as he does use prescription orthotics. With his prescription orthotics, however, he is able to complete training runs from five to ten miles a day without causing pain in his feet and is able to run competitive 5K races with his high school cross-country team.

    It appears to me from my reading of DOD regulations that he would not meet standard. My question is whether he could seek a waiver and is there a reasonable chance that he could obtain one?

  12. paulD says:

    Just to add a little information and another question:

    I’ve set up a follow-up appointment for my son with a podiatrist. He remains without symptoms, but it has been several years since he was prescribed his insert. I thought it would be helpful to make to make certain that his insert has not worn out or require any adjustments.

    Given that he will be seeing a podiatrist, are there any specific questions I should ask him regarding that might be relevant to the issue of whether he could be granted a waiver?

    I would also note that the prescription orthotics were first recommended when he began running cross-country in the 7th grade. At that time he was experience pain of some type (don’t recall specifics) and the schools athletic trainer recommended that he obtain an evaluation. I mention this because it might be significant that the pain arose only after he began training for distance running and then did not present a problem previously.

    He has been without pain since then and has not had any cross-country injuries, although he has been on the cross-country team each year since the 7th grade. He is now a junior and plans to run in his senior year.

  13. navydoc says:

    paulD,
    The use of orthotics is not disqualifying.

  14. paulD says:

    Thanks so much for the quick reply and I trust you know much more than I. The source of my question is the following document: Army Regulation 40–501, Medical Services Standards of Medical Fitness found here: http://www.apd.army.mil/pdffiles/r40_501.pdf .

    I found the following on page 17:

    2–10. Lower extremities: b. Foot and ankle.
    (4) Current symptomatic pes planus (acquired (734) or congenital (754.6)) or history of pes planus corrected by prescription or custom orthotics does not meet the standard.

    This regulation is dated August of 2011, so it is perhaps outdated? Or perhaps I misunderstood its application to enlistment? Or perhaps the navy applies different standards than the army, although I had the impression that enlistment standards are set by the DOD and apply equally to all branches?

    Your answer is good news for my son, but to satisfy my curiosity on the issue, I would like to understand the above quoted army regulation. Thanks for any insight you can offer.

  15. navydoc says:

    paulD,

    MEPS does not use the AR 40-501 (although the medical fitness standards for appointment, enlistment or induction in the military services is based off of it).

    The relevant regulation is the DoDI 6130.03, Chapter 19, paragrap hC, subsection(6), which reads as follows:

    “Rigid or symtpomatic pes planus: The use of custom fitted or over the counter orthotics does NOT imply pes planus is symptomatic. An applicant with pes planus who reports NO pain limiting symptoms due to walking, marching, running or jumping (with or without orthotics) activities meets standard.”

  16. paulD says:

    Thank you very much for your answer. Your response to the above questions addresses my questions completely. My son will be happy to hear this news.

  17. cole says:

    navydoc,
    thank you for the response, when i go to meps do i need to bring anything from my doctor about my Spermatocele or is it no big deal and i shouldn’t even worry about it?

  18. Nenajen says:

    My son is trying to enlist in the Navy, however his recruiter doesn’t seem too interested in recruiting him.
    First, my son had pneumonia in 2005 at the age of 10 and was prescribed an inhaler along with an antibiotic… Recruiter required us to seek out a doctor and have a bronchial dilator test done… At our cost
    Second, my son was taking medication for ADHD. He has been off medication for 16 months… We also had to go to his doctor and get a letter stating that he was under their care, but no longer needs medication.
    Last, my son broke his hand in 2000 at the age of 5 and wore a cast for 6 weeks. His medical records were lost in a PCS move (military family)… Now, the recruiter wants us to take him to a doctor and have his hand examined.
    The recruiter wants all of the things done before he will even send my son’s paperwork down to MEPS. He didn’t even drive him there to take the ASVAB. We had to do that too! At this point I feel like I am the recruiter and I’m not getting paid! I’m trying to help my son get his career started.
    Will these things I have listed keep my son from enlisting?

  19. Nick says:

    Navydoc,

    I applied to be a direct commissioned officer (physical therapist) in the Navy. At first I was denied (ACL surgery 10 years ago, labral SLAP repair 5 years ago) because of a history of joint instability (I had applied for the Marines years ago shortly after labral surgery, and was denied because there was not enough time elapsed from my surgery). After writing a letter, I was allowed to proceed to MEPS. At MEPS, I was sent for a consult. The Ortho wrote ‘all strength and ROM findings WNL’ and told me “I can’t find anything wrong with you”, and the CMO at MEPS told me the same, and wrote down ‘CMO recommends waiver’. My paperwork is getting sent in tomorrow to be processed for a waiver. Do you think I have a good chance?

  20. navydoc says:

    Nick,
    The Marines will not give any waivers for shoulder issues, irrespective of the amount of time that has passed. The other services will generally approve those types of waivers.

  21. Nick says:

    Navydoc,

    Thank you for the reply. So, in your opinion then, do you think my waiver to the Navy has a good chance of going through, based on the facts that I stated?

    Thank you very much for your time.

  22. Nick says:

    As I wasn’t sure if the fact I was applying to be a direct commissioned physical therapist officer had any bearing on the decision, negative or positive.

  23. Jill says:

    My son was processed through MEPS with a medical waiver for shoulder surgery he had last year. He was in NJROTC all four years of HS and had a high ASVAB and was recruited for the NUKE program. He graduated boot camp without incident and passing all tests and even earning higher rank and told he got the job he wanted as an ET. However,he was told a few days before graduation that after graduation he would be on hold due to his medical waiver. Although he is ready to get to A school and get started he has no doubts that he could be denied. He said his chief told him it would be less than a week but its been more than two now. I have horrible anxiety for him because of the information I found on the internet about medical waivers being denied after they graduate. I do not want to believe that the Navy would recruit him, approve him through all the tests in MEPS, put him through boot camp, let him graduate, give him his rank and rate then hold him for weeks only to tell him he is going to be released but I have read similar stories that reveal that they would.
    I am writing to you hoping you can give me your opinion. Am I worrying for nothing? or should I begin preparing him for a change in career when I speak to him again?
    Thanks,
    Jill

  24. navydoc says:

    Jill,

    How did your son go to basic recruit training at Great Lakes without ever going through MEPS? If he truly has graduated from Great Lakes, then he is now under retention standards, not accessions standards, which are completely different, and would not need a waiver. I have not heard of that happening, since MEPS is the gatekeeper of the military enlistment process.

    Regardless, most shoulders are indeed disqualifying. The good news is that the Navy will generally waive these if the shoulder is stable. Have your son see his orthopedist for a current evaluation and submit it to MEPS for consideration.

  25. Jill says:

    Navydoc,

    We did all that before he was given a date to ship out. Saw his doctor and got all the necessary paperwork for MEPS to get the medical waiver. He did go through MEPS and was sent to Great Lakes from there. After battle stations and getting his rank and rate, he was told several days before graduation that MEPS did not send the waiver with the rest of his paperwork. They received it but he would now have to wait for a signature before he could go on to A school. THey said it should only take a week. He even saw his plane ticket on the desk. It has been almost three weeks now. I did call his recruiter and the recruiter said that he sent his copy but did not know why it was not with the paperwork that went with him to Great Lakes. His chief told him that he should get approved since he is going Nuke ET and since he has complete range of motion, no pain etc. He has complete confidence he will be moving on to Goose Creek soon but I am skeptical after reading about medical waivers.

  26. Jill says:

    Navydoc,
    Thanks for your reply. Perhaps I am just over anxious. My friend who is about to retire from the Navy said it was all on Navy time and to just relax.

  27. navydoc says:

    Jill,

    This story is not adding up at all. MEPS does not give waivers; for the Navy, that is done by N3M. If he was indeed disqualified and given a waiver, it already has a signature, and it should just be a matter of printing off a new copy. The fact that it is taking 3 weeks makes me think he was never granted a waiver in the first place. He should have been disqualified at MEPS on his first visit, then once a waiver was granted (usually several weeks later), he would have come back to get the waiver documented in his MEPS file, and then would have been able to swear in and sign a contract.

    If he did not properly get a waiver prior to going to Great Lakes, then a waiver is unlikely at this point. If MEPS did not send a copy of the waiver with his packet, it should be fixable in a matter of hours. Hopefully your version is correct, and it is just a paperwork SNAFU, but it does not sound right.

  28. Jill says:

    Navydoc,
    Thanks for the reply. It didn’t add up to me either which is why I started searching online for information. Hopefully, it will be resolved soon.
    Jill

  29. Nick says:

    Well, my waiver got accepted and I am medically eligible now! Now on to the application process!

  30. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Nick,

    Congratulations, and good luck with the rest of the process!

  31. Jess says:

    I noticed excema was listed but would they have to examine the condition at meps to consider it chronic? My husband just received a disapproval of medical waiver due to excema but he was prior enlisted trying to go reserves. He has only had a year break between so I don’t understand why they would disapprove his waiver?

  32. navydoc says:

    Jess,

    Once a person has been discharged from the military, if they want to rejoin they must meet the current medical fitness standards. If a waiver was denied, your husband cannot rejoin.

  33. DYLAN says:

    Dear NAVYDOC, ( I do not know if I am posting this correctly so I am doing it again, sorry!)

    I am 30 years old, I am very fit. I have no history of any surgery or any problems. When I filled out the “pre MEPS” history I cited 3 yes’. 1 for contacts, 1 for braces and 1 for shoulder dislocation.
    In 2006 I was playing soccer and I dislocated it on the field and I went to the hospital to have it reduced back into place. xrays were negative and there are no calcifaction or tears etc.about a year ago I dislocated it again because I was holding a mat and the other person dropped it and my hand was caught in the side ( long story) so I had it reduced at the hospital again. Again, xrays negative and there are no ROM problems and I have not had a problem other than those 2 times. I have my medical records sent to the “navy waiver gods” and I am waiting to hear back. both incidents were “easily reduced”

    1. do you think I will be approved ? I can do 100 pushups, I have not loss of ROM or strength (it says that in the doc report)
    2. how long does it take to hear back?

    THanks so much for your time,
    I really hope I can get in and start a career.
    Also, I am not an American citizen, but I have a perm. resident green card holder for 15 years. I want to do OCS because I have a 4 year degree in health science, how should I do that if and when I get approved.
    Is this a waiver that I submitted with the recruiter, where I had to give him my two hospital records?
    Dylan

  34. navydoc says:

    Dylan,
    History of shoulder dislocation is PDQ. Waivers are usually granted.

    You cannot be an officer unless you are a US citizen.

  35. DYLAN says:

    thank you! I already submitted my medical records to my recruiter and he faxed it to someone. He said it will take. A while. Is that the waiver that i am waiting for? Do i hear back from them. And then submitt a waiver? Or do i get it evaluated at meps…I’m a little confused on when and how I submit a waiver

    Thanks
    Dylan

  36. navydoc says:

    Dylan,
    A waiver can only be granted after you have taken your physical exam at MEPS. If you have not yet done that, you are just waiting for permission from the Navy to physical. If the Navy will not even consider a waiver, they will not authorize spending the money to send you to MEPS. The time frame is wildly variable; could be days or months.

  37. DYLAN says:

    Navydoc,

    Thank you! That clears it up some. I turned in my medical info on March 27th and the recruiter said it will take a little bit of time. I should be approved of the waiver because the medical info states that I do not have any breaks, tears, calcifications or lack or rom or stability from the Dislocations. When I go to MEPS, they will see I am clearly in shape and there is nothing wrong with my arm. Thanks for the help! I will contact my recruiter to touch base after 2 weeks or so have passed. ( He seems to be very forgetful and it took me FOREVER, just to get this far.
    THanks for the help!

    Dylan

  38. Stephanie says:

    My daughter is trying to join the Navy. Her recruiter said she was initially denied due to a condition which was medical correct 9 years ago. She had a vesicoureteric reflex which was corrected with a substance injected just below the tissue in the ureter. The recruiter is now saying he is going to apply for a waiver so we need to get statements from doctors stating that she has had no issues with hydronephrosis or nocturnal enuresis. She hasn’t even gone to MEP’s yet. I have already spoke with doctor who will fax statement to recruiter. She has never had hydronephrosis and the nocturnal enuresis was corrected at age 9 upon correction of reflex.
    Are these issues reason for denial? What are her chances of receiving waiver to be able to go to MEP’s? Thank you in advance.

  39. Stephanie says:

    I forgot to mention that she had a uti 2 yrs ago and we took her to a urologist and the ct showed normal kidney.

  40. navydoc says:

    Stephanie,
    Yes, history of surgery for vesicoureteric reflux is DQ. If N3M will consider a waiver, they will request that she go to MEPS for a physical, and then, after the results of that physical, will decide whether or not to grant a waiver.

  41. Gale says:

    Thanks for all your info and help. As of Wednesday my son is at boot camp. Thanks again.

  42. DYLAN says:

    Navydoc,
    I just received a call that I am going to meps next week! I m going to need a waiver for my shoulder. What kind of test do they do for shoulder injuries?what are the abduction and adduction requirements and other tests they will do on my shoulder so I can prepare myself

    Dylan

  43. Matt says:

    Is it time for me to go up the chain regarding my waiver? I have hit another delay, apparently the guy who sends waivers is on emergency leave now, my recruiter said they forwarded it to a different meps and he is going to get the tracking number on Monday. It sounds like I should anticipate they didn’t send my packet to n3m.

    This is month 6 in this process. Who do I go to that can get this done?

  44. Darryl says:

    My son found out he has a hernia at MEPS the other day. He mentioned that if he got it fixed laproscopically he would only have to wait 3 months to go back to MEPS other than regular surgery. Is that the case or is any surgery a 6 month wait to go back to MEPS? Thanks.

  45. navydoc says:

    Darryl,

    The only abdominal surgery with a 3 month waiting period is uncomplicated laparoscopic appendectomy. All other laparoscopic or open abdominal surgeries require a 6 month waiting period.

  46. Cindy says:

    Hello,
    My son is trying to join the Navy. He went to MEPS several weeks ago, but did not pass his physical due to a past history of microscopic hematuria. The MEPS physician wanted additional information.

    During my son’s childhood he would often have a trace of blood on the dipstick urine tests. When he was about 12 the pediatrician sent him for a renal ultrasound to make sure his kidneys were normal due to the recurring trace blood results. The ultrasound was normal for both kidneys. All of his chemistries have been normal and he has never had any problems or treatment related to his renal or bladder function. We sent the ultrasound records and several dips stick urine test results. We could not find any other urinalysis results other than dipstick urine results on his chart.

    This week he returned to Meps for a consult. However the only thing he did during this visit was give a urine sample. He states they are sending this to an independent lab. He did not talk with a physician etc.

    If his urinalysis come back with trace amounts of blood will this prevent him from joining the Navy or would this condition qualify for a waiver?

  47. navydoc says:

    Cindy,
    Current hematuria is DQ. Waiver will depend on the reason for the hematuria and the quality of the work-up (for instance, if he had a normal renal biopsy, waiver chance is good).

  48. Steph says:

    Hi NavyDoc,

    Does the Navy grant medical waivers for each specific ailment or based on a “whole-body” concept? I have a very small labrum tear in my shoulder, a healed herniated disc (nucleus pulpous no longer extruding), and a cured (via antibiotics) one-time atypical pneumonia. Do I have to get a waiver for each ailment or does the Navy sign off on one “overall” medical waiver?

    Based on the regs, it seems the Navy would waive each condition, but if there are “too many” conditions, would the Navy just rubberstamp “denied?”

    Thanks,

    Steph

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