Shoulder surgery with recurring pain


Registered Member
My name is Thomas Smith and I had Right Shoulder surgery with a slap tear of the labrum, rotator cuff repair, along with them having to shave the bones for bone spurs. The surgery was in SEP 2010. I am still having pain in my shoulder that is preventing me from passing the PT test. I am currently deployed and think it is getting worse. I would like to go through the MEB process but dont know if I should expect 30% or more or even if I should expect a rating at all. Any information would be greatly appreciated. I have been in the Army now for almost 7 years. The injury occurred from throwing a hand grenade.
Hello Thomas. Your rating will largely depend on your range of motion. Being deemed fit or unfit to continue service will depend on other factors, such as being able to conduct the operations of your job. If your shoulder is preventing you to from doing PT, I would recommend getting a profile from the doctor stating what your limitations are (no push ups, no running....whatever you can't do). Some commands will try to administratively discharge you based on failing PT, but if you have a profile on your physical limitations, this will give the doctors something to work with as far as starting an MEB, if they feel you will not get better. Be prepared for a long process, more conservative and stretch at physical therapy....and then maybe your doctor will start an MEB. Or, since you have already done many treatment options, they may just go straight for the MEB, who knows. Everyone's case is different.

I was rated by the service as 20% for my shoulder surgery, but the VA rated me higher at 30% because my range of motions were different. After the surgery the range of motion was high enough to warrant a 20% rating. A few months later after discharge, my shoulder injury started to get worse again. When I conducted range of motion tests with the VA doctors, it was much lower, and therefore warranted a higher rating from the VA. I hope this helps.
Thank you very much for the reply! I am going to go ahead and get the profile and try to start this process as I dont think that my shoulder is going to allow me to progress in the Army. Thanks again!

I'm going thru nearly the same thing you are but in the opposite shoulder. I have osteoarthritis in my left shoulder, had good range of motion in it with occassional lock-ups, had arthroscopic surgery to remove bone spurs in January this year and have less range of motion and constant pain after surgery. I'm being MEB'd for neck and shoulder and have a P3 Profile. Like Clair said it will depend on ROM and make sure when they do the ROM that they use the Goinometer (not sure if that is right) to do the measurements, don't let the doctor eyeball it and stop when you feel pain. Make sure that is documented where the pain starts and how intense it is.
Good luck and keep you head up it takes a while.
I would be interested in finding out why you still have pain. And I wouldn't expect to much. I have known soldiers to be administrativly chaptered while in a wheelchair with sufficient medical evidence.. You should be discussing with your medical professional the pain that you have now. Perhaps more tests are needed. Expect MEB to take a long time anyway (at least a year). Expect them (VA) to low ball you.. I see a 10% rating in your future..

11/04 inital injury for feet pain

SSD 11/09

02/2010 cane

02/17/2010 crutches

02/24/2010 wheelchair

03/2010: RSD diagnosis

Admin discharge 06/2010

BCMR submitted 05/2011

VA decision 06/2011 : 80%
70% Depression & Anxiety
10% Cervical - C7/T1 radiculopathy; C5/C6 (herniated disc) & C6/C7 (bulge disc) with spinal stenosis
10% Throacic - C8 radiculopthy causing mid back pain
10% Lumbar - L3/L4 & L4/L5 & L5/S1 buldge discs with spinal stenosis
10% plantar fasciitis with osteopenia
10% L wrist strain (FOOSA injury while on duty)
10% GERD

RSD denied
IU denied

DRO election (sought legal representation for VA appeal)

waiting for advisory opinions from the BCMR and anything from my lawyer regarding either claim.

Its a very long waiting game.. They hope in time you will give up. Keep your hopes up and never give up
A lot of people do not know this, but the Army has a pain rating that is not related to other injuries. Say you have knee pain, but X-Rays and MRIs can not determine the cause, you can still get up to a 20% rating on the military side. The key to getting 20% is your pain is "Constant and Moderate" or "Marked and Frequent"!

If anyone wants the MFR, I have it. Shoot me a PM.

Bad news, I hope you have relieved your pain now. For 3 years, I have also suffered from shoulder pain, and I have made many attempts to completely cure it. Finally, I found that the simplest but most effective method is to stretch and cold compress the joints. The stretching process is extremely slow. In addition, in order to get a longer time of ice therapy, I used a cold therapy machine for recurring pain. These help me when the pain recurs, and many people do the same.