Issue with medical

Hi all,

As you can see this is my first post here and I was wondering if I could pick your brains over an issue.

I am currently in the process of applying for re-entry into the Service in an attempt to get back to BRNC. I was withdrawn from training with an injury, but not medically discharged however I believe that the reasons for my withdrawl are due to the injury (i.e. a lot of pain = loss of kip/concentration etc...). I eventually managed to get a full diagnosis on civvy street and it transpired that I'd bust a disc in my back. I had an op to fix it and then physio to get me back to phys. I was running and fitter than before I joined initially and I managed to play rugby at a decent enough intensity that I managed to dislocate my shoulder :roll: .

My point is that if I'm in P2 condition (i.e could pass the medical examinations) why could it possibly require a 2 year post-op wait before I could re-join. It doesn't seem to make sense physiologically, nothing will have changed in 18 months time from my physical condition now.

Also, is anyone aware of the process of re-entry? Is it likely to be a full application/trip to AIB for a full board/trip to AIB for an interview. Obviously in a case such as mine a rigourous medical and fitness assessment would be required for any option.

I don't want to get stormy but the injury occurred on their watch and I get the feeling, from various letters requesting information from my med docs, which I've already signed to release to them, I'm being strung along until I get bored and go away. I can't help but think that if I'd fessed up about how much gyp it was causing me rather than manning up (in time honoured tradition) it could have been sorted in-house with only the disappointment of backclassing to contend with.


I sense a lot of anger.

Back pain / disc prolapses etc always take a while to diagnose. This is because the treatment is the same, whether you have a disc problem or not. Initially you need anti-inflammatories and early mobilisiation - ie, get on with it. If the pain doesn't resolve in a month or so then you may need further intervention - but not in every case. Even if you did prolapse a disc at the time, no surgeon will touch you with a bargepole until the surrounding inflammation is relieved - with anti-inflammatories. You can have a prolapsed disc which doesn't cause any lasting problems - in which case the risk of surgery is too high, and you are managed conservatively (ie without resorting to the knife). Therefore stating the RN 'strung you along' is incorrect - you got the appropriate treatment.

Regarding your shoulder - we like to wait a year after a single dislocation because it is during this period your risk of re-discloation are highest. You know the conditions your have to put up with at BRNC (BLD (or whatever it's called now), ACE, MARL etc) - we would be failing in our duty of care to put you through this when you are statistically likely to re-dislocate - and judging by your tone I suspect you would be only too happy to take us to court if this did happen. Two years following spine surgery is a relatively new thing. It used to be spinal surgery = P8. You can get away with a single-level discectomy (which it sounds like you had), but only if you can demonstrate adequate function. The wait is to ensure you don't get any post-operative problems and to ensure things are getting better over time. There are plenty of physiological reasons for it - and I could bore you with tales of various inflammatory processes if you so wish. It's also a common sense thing - back surgery is pretty major in the grand scheme of things. You will have lost part of the shock-absorbing element of part of your spine (don't know which bit) and, frankly, we don't want to invest in your training for you to end up with chronic back pain.

You will also require assessment by a Service Consultant in Orthopaedic and Spinal Surgery.

And, with respect, you're not in a P2 medical condition due to all the reasons above. And it probably wouldn't have been sorted in-house as you were still under training and may have been P8'd anyway.

Let me know if you need more info.

RN Medical Officer
Moderator, Health & Fitness

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