Shoulder Injury


New Member
Nov 26, 2008
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Good evening gents!

I am a 24 year old South African joining the Royal Marines. I had my medical examination today with disturbing news for me..

I had a small operation in my right shoulder, August 2006 due to a rugby injury. Only soft-bone was removed, no serious problems. I never again had any trouble whith my shoulder, doing archery, playing rugby and doing my physical preperation (gym) to join the RM.

Today the doctor who examined me (she found eveything 100% with my shoulder) said that she has to refer this to the head medical examinator (I don't know exactly who) and he will give a decision regarding my medical, either 1: Approving 2: Make an appointment to see a specialist (there is a 6 month long waiting list!!) 3: Refuse me to join completely

I gave the doctor a copy of the medical report from my doctor in SA, stating that my shoulder is 100% fine with no permanent injury!

I would just like to know if anyone had the same problem/situation and what would be the most likely outcome? Should I keep my hopes of becoming a Marine or start packing my bags to leave? I gave up plenty of things in South Africa to become a Marine and this is turninginto a nightmare for me..

Any answer would be appreciated!



Valuable Contributor
Jul 19, 2007
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Not the same incident, as you have had surgery and they take that into an extreme account. However, a friend of mine did get a bad shoulder dislocation ( I have dislocated my shoulder as well quite badly ) and they still allowed him to join. They say dislocations are worse them bones being broken and so fourth, so I hope it works out for you !.


Valuable Contributor
Jan 10, 2008
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Hey mate,

I just had my shoulder "Repaired" 3 weeks ago *text deleted*. Now my shoulder is more metal than bone! but anyway i got it from playing rugby and the doc says its going to heal much stronger than what they thought so im happy! I think ninja can correct me if i am wrong but dont the RM say if you have had surgory in the last 3 years (i think) they will probably reject the application. (Please Ninja correct me if wrong)

Mate, proffesional rugby players have had full reconstruction of there shoulders and are back playing the following year! so hopefully you will be ok!


Jul 10, 2007
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Apologies for missing this thread.

To be honest it's an area in which I'm not qualified to give an opinion, other than to reiterate the medical referral procedure below. Again, frustrating though it is, the Medical Examiner makes the call on this one, as advised by the senior medical officer service entries. My opinion on whether it's a Yes/No would only give rise to false expectations good or otherwise, so again apologies for not being much help:

Medical Referrals

In order to be passed fit on the day, you must have completed your eyetest also.

If there is a medical condition requiring further investigation before you can be categorically classed unfit or passed fit, the Medical Examiner (ME) will write, with your permission, to your GP requesting further detail. They typically take up to 4 weeks to respond.

(With asthma they often send a questionnaire for you GP to complete & return).

You can speed things along by ringing your GP's Practice Manager and asking them to look out for the letter & reply as soon as possible.

If the ME can make a definitive decision from the information provided by your GP, then you will be passed fit/or otherwise.

If further detail is required & is available locally, the ME will again request it from a hospital or wherever the information is held (up to another 4 weeks).

Alternatively if the information is such that the outcome is inconclusive, then the information is forwarded to the Senior Medical Officer (Service Entry), soon to be relocated at the Institute of Naval Medicine (INM) in Alverstoke, near Portsmouth in the Aviation Medical Division. If the SMO can make a definitive decision, referring to the respective specialists in the relevant medical area, then that is passed back to the ME. Typically the turn-around time is within 4 weeks.

If the SMO cannot make a definitive decision, then an appointment is made with a specialist in the relevant medical area of expertise. This can be at the INM Alverstoke, Guys London or Selly Oak, Birmingham. The RN/RM pays for your rail ticket (and accommodation, if necessary) for you to attend this appointment. Specialist medical appointments usually take over 4 weeks to arrange.

Hope that helps those in similar situations.


i guess that will be the same outcome for my knee as well then ninja. *text deleted*'e got a feeling that the ME won't pass me straight away and will pass on my infomation to the SMO, either he/she decides straight away or asks me to come for a specialist apointment!
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