Military Medical Standards - Lower Extremities (Hips and Legs)

General Disqualifying Medical Conditions - Hips and Legs

Physician Examining Fat Levels of New Military Recruits
••• Getty Images/Karen Kasmauski

The United States Military has rigorous standards for entry. Everything from criminal background, education, testing abilities, physical fitness, and medical history all come into play when determining eligibility is met for any applicant. Plain and simple - Not everyone can join the military. That's because various medical conditions can disqualify you from military enlistment.

Some of the many disqualifying medical conditions are listed below. This article focuses only on the hips and lower extremity joints. The International Classification of Disease (ICD) codes are listed in parentheses following each standard.

The causes for rejection for appointment, enlistment, and induction (without an approved waiver) are an authenticated history of:

Limitation of Motion

Current joint ranges of motion less than the measurements listed in paragraphs below are disqualifying. These limitations can be caused by traumatic injury in the applicants past or a congenital defect that could seriously limit the person from being able to successfully handle the physical and load bearing stresses of the job.

Hip (due to disease (726.5), or injury (905.2)):

(a) Flexion to 90 degrees.

(b) No demonstrable flexion contracture.

(c) Extension to 10 degrees (beyond 0 degrees).

(d) Abduction to 45 degrees.

(e) Rotation of 60 degrees (internal and external combined).

Knee (due to disease (726.6), or injury (905.4)):

(a) Full extension to 0 degrees.

(b) Flexion to 110 degrees.

Ankle (due to disease (726.7), or injury (905.4) or congenital defect):

(a) Dorsiflexion to 10 degrees.

(b) Planter flexion to 30 degrees.

Subtalar eversion and inversion totaling 5 degrees (due to disease (726.7) or injury (905.4) or congenital defect).

Foot and Ankle

Current absence of a foot or any portion thereof (896) is disqualifying. However, there have been successful active duty members to remain on full duty status even with the loss of the foot or lower leg below the knee.

Current or history of deformities of the toes (acquired (735) or congenital (755.66)) including, but not limited to conditions such as hallux valgus (735.0), hallux varus (735.1), hallux rigidicus (735.2), hammer toe(s) (735.4), claw toe(s) (735.5), overriding toe(s) (735.8), that prevents the proper wearing of military footwear or impairs walking, marching, running, or jumping, are disqualifying.

Current or history of clubfoot (754.70) or pes cavus (754.71) that prevents the proper wearing of military footwear or impairs walking, marching, running or jumping is disqualifying.

Current symptomatic pes planus (acquired (734) or congenital (754.6)) or history of pes planus corrected by prescription or custom orthotics is disqualifying.

Current ingrown toenails (703.0), if infected or symptomatic, are disqualifying.

Current plantar fasciitis (728.71) is disqualifying.

Current neuroma (355.6) that is refractory to medical treatment, or impairs walking, marching, running, or jumping, or prevents the proper wearing of military footwear, is disqualifying.

Leg, Knee, Thigh and Hip

Current loose or foreign body within the knee joint (717.6) is disqualifying.

History of uncorrected anterior (717.83) or posterior (717.84) cruciate ligament injury is disqualifying.

History of surgical correction of knee ligaments is disqualifying only if symptomatic or unstable (P81.4). (3) Current symptomatic medial and lateral collateral ligament injury are disqualifying.

Current symptomatic medial and lateral meniscal injury are disqualifying.

Current unspecified internal derangement of the knee (717.9) is disqualifying.

Current or history of congenital dislocation of the hip (754.3), osteochondritis of the hip (Legg-Perthes disease) (732.1), or slipped femoral epiphysis of the hip (732.2) is disqualifying.

Current or history of hip dislocation (835) within 2 years preceding examination is disqualifying.

Current osteochondritis of the tibial tuberosity (Osgood-Schlatter disease) (732.4) , is disqualifying if symptomatic.

General Conditions

Current deformities, disease, or chronic joint pain of pelvic region, thigh (719.45), lower leg (719.46), ankle and/ or foot (719.47) that have interfered with function to such a degree as to prevent the individual from following a physically active vocation in civilian life, or that would interfere with walking, running, weight bearing, or the satisfactory completion of training or military duty, are disqualifying.

Current leg-length discrepancy resulting in a limp (736.81) is disqualifying.

More Military Health Requirements

Derived from Department of Defense (DOD) Directive 6130.3, "Physical Standards for Appointment, Enlistment, and Induction," and DOD Instruction 6130.4, "Criteria and Procedure Requirements for Physical Standards for Appointment, Enlistment, or Induction in the Armed Forces."