Australian wannabe facing the bone saw

#1
Hi all,

Another dreamer here, though one with a slightly longer path to take. I have small leg length discrepancy. It's just enough that I wear a small insert in one of my shoes while running and walking long distances, but it would almost certainly make me inapte definitif if they spotted it.

I'm therefore planning to have it fixed, but it means surgery and at least two years before I could attempt selection. There's a 12 month wait before I can have the operation, which basically involves cutting a section out of the longer femur and pinning the ends together, and another 12 months or so before they take the metal out. Finally, it'll be another few months (I guess?) until all the screw holes close up, at which point I'll get an xray and present it and myself to the Legion.

Unfortunately, by that time I will be well into my thirties with surgical scars to boot. Still, you play the hand you get, and as everyone here knows, it's better to try and get knocked back than spend the rest of your like wondering. I can't control my age or my genes, but I'm going these two years work for me by getting the things that are in my control, such as my fitness and French language skills as good as they can possibly be. I'll be using Stoeng's training program and will start out with Duolingo for the French. Later on I might do some formal classes or join a conversation group, preferably one with pretty French girls ;).

I haven't written much about myself, but this post is probably long enough already, and they'll be plenty of time later. Thanks everyone for your time, and a special thanks to all of you who make this forum possible.
 

Joseph Cosgrove

Moderator
Legionnaire
#2
Hi analog, I hope it all works out well for you. As you say it's better to go and try. Keeping up the fitness once the operation is over may not be all that easy for a couple of months. I'm talking about something I have no idea about but having pins in may mean keeping off your 'bad' leg as much as possible. Of course I know that soccer players have to take months off when they get injured and can get back into condition.

Very good idea about learning French, its a plus when you get to Aubagne. Just a thought, is there anyway that you can get yourself put on a standby list? You know if the person cannot make for one reason or another?
 

voltigeur

Legionnaire
Former Moderator
#3
Hi all,

Another dreamer here, though one with a slightly longer path to take. I have small leg length discrepancy. It's just enough that I wear a small insert in one of my shoes while running and walking long distances, but it would almost certainly make me inapte definitif if they spotted it.
So would the surgery, It is a toss up case with which problem you would be rejected. Possibly both.
 
#4
Thanks for taking the time to reply guys.

> Joseph Cosgrove
Thanks for your encouragement. You are right about there being a recovery period. According to Dr. Google I'd be spending two months on crutches. My thinking is that it would be better/easier to build my fitness before the operation and then get it back than to wait until afterwards. Also, I enjoy exercise and do it anyway, so... Hopefully I'll be able to at least swim and do upper body exercises during the recovery period so I don't go too far backwards.
That's a really good point about standby lists, I'll see if that's an option.

> Voltigeur
I see where you're coming from. I've heard anecdotally about people getting in with surgery, so there's at least a glimmer of hope. In his YouTube videos, littlest Viking says that he got in with scars from a broken ankle that he had pinned. Prior to going, he had the metal removed and a x-ray taken. I'm hoping my chances would be at least as good as his, especially as none of my joints would be involved. FWIW this operation is essentially the same as breaking a long bone and having it pinned but under controlled conditions.

If I had to choose between going as I am and going with the surgery (which, of course I do) I think I'd have more chance with the surgery.
 

Joseph Cosgrove

Moderator
Legionnaire
#5
Thanks for taking the time to reply guys.

> Joseph Cosgrove
Thanks for your encouragement. You are right about there being a recovery period. According to Dr. Google I'd be spending two months on crutches. My thinking is that it would be better/easier to build my fitness before the operation and then get it back than to wait until afterwards. Also, I enjoy exercise and do it anyway, so... Hopefully I'll be able to at least swim and do upper body exercises during the recovery period so I don't go too far backwards.
That's a really good point about standby lists, I'll see if that's an option.

> Voltigeur
I see where you're coming from. I've heard anecdotally about people getting in with surgery, so there's at least a glimmer of hope. In his YouTube videos, littlest Viking says that he got in with scars from a broken ankle that he had pinned. Prior to going, he had the metal removed and a x-ray taken. I'm hoping my chances would be at least as good as his, especially as none of my joints would be involved. FWIW this operation is essentially the same as breaking a long bone and having it pinned but under controlled conditions.

If I had to choose between going as I am and going with the surgery (which, of course I do) I think I'd have more chance with the surgery.
For what it's worth I saw a 'page' - not sure how it would be said in English- on the French news. It was about Chinese women who want to look like Westerners. Apart from the eyes, which is obvious and dying their hair, they also go through an operation on their lower legs. The idea is that when the bones are broken they will reset. The legs are then put into traction and the person gains a centimeter or two.

I have to admit, I wasn't really taking too much notice about Chinese women wanting to look taller. But stick with what your doctor recommends and and make sure that you are fully recovered before buying your ticket.
 

mulgarat

Actual or Ex Legionnaire - Donator
Legionnaire
#6
Hi Mate,
Joseph it's also common in Russia. The women there go through it so they get longer legs that go forever. As if they need to get any hotter...
I thought about getting an operation like that to get taller except someone said it was hell painful. I still get under everyone's feet and generally overlooked. Plenty of leg room on planes too so guess there are advantages.
Analog, I admire your determination to get it "rectified". All you can do is go and try. If they spot the scar (which they will), all you can do is explain the circumstances. I remember a few in my section in Castel who looked anything but perfect specimens. One guy was called Quasimodo by the Corporals. He was from around Lyons I think and ugly as sin.
Incidentally I recall one bloke when I was in who had one leg shorter than the other and ran with a bit of a gait, he was a Brit from Liverpool and could run like the wind and drink like a fish. Mad Scouser was always scrapping. There were plenty of guys getting through with scars too in fact it was almost obligatoire.
Then that was over 30 years ago.
Tooroo
 
#7
Basically everyone alive has one leg shorter than the other..just a question of amounts and if it REALLY causes you problems. If it is minor don't bother with surgery...just go! Does it really impair your running or sports? Can people tell immediately by looking at you how unbalanced you are? :) I would get a 2nd or 3rd opinion...some docs just love money and love surgery.
 

Joseph Cosgrove

Moderator
Legionnaire
#8
Basically everyone alive has one leg shorter than the other..just a question of amounts and if it REALLY causes you problems. If it is minor don't bother with surgery...just go! Does it really impair your running or sports? Can people tell immediately by looking at you how unbalanced you are? :) I would get a 2nd or 3rd opinion...some docs just love money and love surgery.
I'm not sure if you can re-adapt to running or standing 'straight' after a long time of having counter measures taken. Analog, Nick has given good advice get a second opinion. Tell the Doc, that you are thinking of joining the Aussi reserves and in his opinion would be most appreciated. Let him know that it's for the paras, even though you may not have any interest in joining the REP. Otherwise he may think that it's for an 'easier' job.

Whatever you choose, remember that you only have one chance due to your age. I agree with mulgarat, in times gone by a scar was well looked upon as is according to 666 are tats.
 
#9
Basically everyone alive has one leg shorter than the other..just a question of amounts and if it REALLY causes you problems. If it is minor don't bother with surgery...just go! Does it really impair your running or sports? Can people tell immediately by looking at you how unbalanced you are? :) I would get a 2nd or 3rd opinion...some docs just love money and love surgery.
you can see when someone has a leg shorter because they cant stand up really straight with feet closed, the hip compensate and get unbalanced. Its someone who are always putting the weight in one feet. My dad has a little difference but he served in the brazilian army anyway.
 

Joseph Cosgrove

Moderator
Legionnaire
#10
you can see when someone has a leg shorter because they cant stand up really straight with feet closed, the hip compensate and get unbalanced. Its someone who are always putting the weight in one feet. My dad has a little difference but he served in the brazilian army anyway.
Yea, very good point Highlander. I had pins in my right hand, pinky and the next one, for a year. I know even now am careful when shaking someones hand. It's not the same as being born with a leg shorter than another, I realize that. But my main worry is the adaptation.
Analog old buddy don't take this as if we are talking about you as if you are not there.
When you walk into the legion doctor's office, it has to be as if all is well. I'm going to sound stupid now, (again! shut it Dusa) why not practice with a book on your head? Or other more professional ways once the operation has been done?
 
#11
Yea, very good point Highlander. I had pins in my right hand, pinky and the next one, for a year. I know even now am careful when shaking someones hand. It's not the same as being born with a leg shorter than another, I realize that. But my main worry is the adaptation.
Analog old buddy don't take this as if we are talking about you as if you are not there.
When you walk into the legion doctor's office, it has to be as if all is well. I'm going to sound stupid now, (again! shut it Dusa) why not practice with a book on your head? Or other more professional ways once the operation has been done?
I would suggest if he can try to do something less invasive before trying surgery, like phisiotherapy.
 

Joseph Cosgrove

Moderator
Legionnaire
#12
I would suggest if he can try to do something less invasive before trying surgery, like phisiotherapy.
I don't agree on this one. Analog has got one chance and from what I can gather he has chosen what he feels the best.
Now, if Highlander has better offers, then take them into consideration. If I'm not wrong she is studying medicine.
 
#13
I don't agree on this one. Analog has got one chance and from what I can gather he has chosen what he feels the best.
Now, if Highlander has better offers, then take them into consideration. If I'm not wrong she is studying medicine.
I believe he has to go see a doctor, he didn't say if his difference was because a neuro-muscular problem or it's a bone problem. Honestly? I think he is just messing with us.
If it's a small diference like 1cm or 2cm, it's crazy to think of bone saw.
 
#14
Thanks everyone for your advice. I'll try and address what's been said.

I definitely need to go back to a doctor. I did go years ago, but it was very half-arsed - he basically look at me, said "yes, they're different", and sent me off to a store that sold inserts. There was no attempt to measure the difference, determine the cause or anything like that. I'll obviously go to a better doctor this time and, as Joe suggested, I'll tell them I want to join my local reserves, preferably as a para, and that I need to get up to standard.

The main problem with this thing is that it does affect my gait. I sort of lurch up and down a bit as I transfer my weight from one leg to another and after a while I'll begin feeling it in my knees and hip. I can only imagine what a long pack march would do. I'm sure that I could work around this with physiotherapy and gait modification, but...

The only thing that ultimately matters is "what will the Legion actually accept?" The Australian forces are very strict on this. From what I've read on our local version of Cervens, the maximum allowable discrepancy in the ADF is 1cm. How well you function doesn't matter, if you have more than 1cm and they detect it, you're out. There was a guy on the forum who was rejected for a 1.5cm discrepancy. He had letters from two doctors and his sports coaches saying that it would have no effect on him, but it didn't help. That's in Australia, but I can only imagine that the Legion would be just as picky given how oversupplied they are with candidates.

As such, unless physiotherapy and other non-invasive approaches can get this to the point where it can pass unnoticed, I don't think I'll have much choice. As Joe said, I'm only going to have chance to get this right. I do not want to get an invasive, time consuming and doubtless eye-wateringly expensive operation if at all possible, and I'm also aware that even if I did go under the knife I would still face a greater than 90% chance of not making it for whatever reason.

I won't know anything for sure until I get a proper medical assessment, but my current sense is that I'm not holding a particularly strong hand and that I have to put every option on the table if I don't want to spend my later years wondering "what if?" I'm not trying to mess with anyone here and I respect and am grateful for all the advice you've given me.
 
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voltigeur

Legionnaire
Former Moderator
#15
Thanks everyone for your advice. I'll try and address what's been said.

I definitely need to go back to a doctor. I did go years ago, but it was very half-arsed - he basically look at me, said "yes, they're different", and sent me off to a store that sold inserts. There was no attempt to measure the difference, determine the cause or anything like that. I'll obviously go to a better doctor this time and, as Joe suggested, I'll tell them I want to join my local reserves, preferably as a para, and that I need to get up to standard.

The main problem with this thing is that it does affect my gait. I sort of lurch up and down a bit as I transfer my weight from one leg to another and after a while I'll begin feeling it in my knees and hip. I can only imagine what a long pack march would do. I'm sure that I could work around this with physiotherapy and gait modification, but...

The only thing that ultimately matters is "what will the Legion actually accept?" The Australian forces are very strict on this. From what I've read on our local version of Cervens, the maximum allowable discrepancy in the ADF is 1cm. How well you function doesn't matter, if you have more than 1cm and they detect it, you're out. There was a guy on the forum who was rejected for a 1.5cm discrepancy. He had letters from two doctors and his sports coaches saying that it would have no effect on him, but it didn't help. That's in Australia, but I can only imagine that the Legion would be just as picky given how oversupplied they are with candidates.

As such, unless physiotherapy and other non-invasive approaches can get this to the point where it can pass unnoticed, I don't think I'll have much choice. As Joe said, I'm only going to have chance to get this right. I do not want to get an invasive, time consuming and doubtless eye-wateringly expensive operation if at all possible, and I'm also aware that even if I did go under the knife I would still face a greater than 90% chance of not making it for whatever reason.

I won't know anything for sure until I get a proper medical assessment, but my current sense is that I'm not holding a particularly strong hand and that I have to put every option on the table if I don't want to spend my later years wondering "what if?" I'm not trying to mess with anyone here and I respect and am grateful for all the advice you've given me.
I would suggest that you first see a chiropractor, sometimes the difference in leg length could be a result of hip displacement.
Even if it is not the cause, he probably could mitigate some of the discrepancy in the length/difference of the legs.
 

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