Can I join the Military with scoliosis?

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Last post
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Title: Member
Joined: 06/02/2013 - 8:37pm
Can I join the Military with scoliosis?

I am interested in joining the Air Force but I have scoliosis. I am not sure if this is something that will disqualify me or not. I have an S shape spine with about 30 degrees curvature. I don't have any back pain. When I have a lot of physical activity sometimes my upper right part of my back and lower left part of my back get stiff.

What treatments are there available? I know surgery is usually reserved for more severe cases but is it an option? I have also heard about physical therapy but does that really work?

*** EDITED to remove link****

What do you think?

AllMetal's picture
Last seen: 9 months 3 weeks ago
Title: Member
Joined: 11/03/2012 - 6:43pm
My thoughts

First, I just see one curve, not two... but I might be misunderstanding the images. And yes, surgery *usually* is a last resort if the spine becomes too unstable from the curvature. I know they use to have a 45 degree "marker" when considering surgery, but now days I think surgeons are looking much more at pain issues, etc. So sounds like for at least right now you need not worry about surgery. I personally did find PT helpful as it does (or can) strengthen all aspects of your core muscles.

As far as military is concerned, I have no idea.... maybe someone here can jump in on that.

33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.

quicksilver's picture
Last seen: 3 months 3 weeks ago
Title: Member
Joined: 02/24/2011 - 7:46pm
I'll give it a try (for what it's worth)

I got out in 1980 so my memory of the requirements isn't perfect. I do believe (note that I didn't say know) that certain physical conditions were grounds for rejecting an applicant at the outset. If someone with one of these conditions did manage to enlist that person would be subject an automatic discharge (without prejudice). My point is that some conditions automatically preclude military service. I think that you need to sit down with your recruiter and discuss the problem directly. I really don't see any way around that.

Hope that helps, Michael

Disability retirement

Last seen: 6 months 3 weeks ago
Title: Member
Joined: 03/22/2012 - 7:15am
I agree, just ask your

I agree, just ask your recruiter, he/she would know off hand. And regardless if you can or can't, thank you for even considering it.

myjade_84's picture
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Title: Member
Joined: 06/20/2013 - 6:38pm
I hope this would help

Deviation or curvature of spine (737) from normal alignment, structure, or function if-

(1) It prevents the individual from following a physically active vocation in civilian life.

(2) It interferes with wearing a uniform or military equipment.

(3) It is symptomatic and associated with positive physical finding(s) and demonstrable by x-ray.

(4) 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.