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    • I think you should throw it all at them the first time.  If you fail you get more IME's.  Yes, new evidence helps with NOD.  I used VA's voc. rehab, worker's compensation doctor, a couple of private doctors who I knew could write good reports.  I still did not win total victory the first time.  I had to go back twice more with new evidence to get P&T and EED.  Hey, your motto from John Wayne is about the same as Wild Bill's.  If you use the VA then  you will be  insulted sooner or later.    When you get IME you point out to doctor exactly the problems you have with VA's exam and rating.  You can keep up fantasy of the opinion being totally unbiased, but you don't want an unbiased opinion.  You want one that helps you since you are paying for it.  It must appear to be unbiased.  We all know VA exams are biased in direction of default option to be denial or low ball rating.  The evidence you hold back may be the evidence that would have put you over.  Berta says the enemy is not the VA but time.  When you have to appeal a rating you must wait 18 months to two years.  I have had to appeal every single rating I ever got until I got P&T.  It was easier after that since I had little to gain.                        John
    • I Thank everyone for the input. I'm going to the clinic tomorrow for the eye exam & will talk to a patient contact rep about improving the "kicked out" term to something better.
    • I'm interested in filling a gulf war illness claim , my question is do you think it worthwhile, I have the symptoms that are required for the claim , but some of the fall into my ptsd symptoms which I all ready receive compensation for .   if I file gwi , will they try to reduce my ptsd rating.  all I read is so many gulf war claims are denied . I don't want to fill and have it denied and have them turn around and start messing with my ptsd claim . Any thoughts?  
    • My opinion Any new evidence will help you with a NOD. Mine was just a Voc Expert who testifies in VA, SSDI and Railroad Benefits Courts. And even though it sounds silly and anti-progress, i think at this point in time with the games the VA is playing with fast rejections and lowballs have FILLED the frikin Appeals Dockets, we should maybe hold back just ONE bit of evidence, maybe because we kind of already know lowballing is SoP for the bastiches, just have that one bit of evidence ready for your NOD. Once again, just a opinion, and a path i'm taking on my next claim.
    • I thought the same. To be honest I get strong anxiety disgust when I go to the va. Lost trust with the providers there. So part a is free correct? Even if I only have 8 years of solid work and on and off.  As far as part b they are saying that I can lower my rate by signing a earlier effective date my alleged onset date. Which would be a difference of 104.90 starting date June 2011 in which I have to pay an additional 6,517.30. I currently have no medical bills pending throughout that period.  The other one is August 2016 with a premium of 121.80 a month. However, What I don't understand is on the bottom they want to charge me 243.60 due through December 2016. Is that two year enrollment plan?





goin2pa

Lower Back - Degenerative Disc Disease

11 posts in this topic

Like many, I've suffered lower back problems for years and have received PT, MRI and lots of drugs over the years while active duty. I retired with 27 years active duty (AD) last year. I recently received a copy of my C & P exam from Sept 2010. While AD I was always told that the pain in my LB is caused by "Bulging Disc" at L4/L5 and the sporadic pain and follow-on numbness down my right leg is Sciatica. But the C & P calls it Degenerative Disc Disease instead. <BR style="mso-special-character: line-break"><BR style="mso-special-character: line-break">

My question is – does the VA look at long-term chronic pain when judging for award or only range of motion on that one particular day of the C & P? My range of motion is stricly determined by my level of pain . . . on C & P day it was minor, and I had full ROM.

Thanks in advance - Jim

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ROM on the day of. The usual canard is to approach the C&P as if it was your worst day, or, a bit more drastic, don't medicate for a few days prior.

CAS

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I bet if you are having numbness down your leg you have a herniated disc even if it is not really bad. When did you get a MRI the last time. When it starts to run down the leg it means the pulp of the disc is impinging on the nerve in a serious way. I am no doctor. I have DDD in neck and back so I am telling you what I know. I have herniation in my neck and I get the pain running across the shoulders and numbness. That is a clue you probably have some of your disc touching the nerves that run down your leg through the backbone. I am sure you know all this already. Has anyone recommended surgery? When VA says DDD they may be implying that it is just due to normal aging. I am really glad you filed your claim soon after discharge because if you wait the VA has a way of saying it is just due to age.

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I know just how you feel.

I'm having more trouble with being able to stand. Numbness and shooting pain down both legs now. Butt cheeks feel brused. Used to be just the right leg or just the left. Have lost 1 inch in the length of my right leg due to muscle loss from nerve damage is my guess. But, just a guess cuz no ones ever said what caused it.

I've lost work just by sneezing and having a disk pop to the side.

I have several disks and joints in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar that are bad. One in the cervical that is poking the spinal cord, but hasnt penitrated it according to MRI results.

According to research i've read and people i've talked to who've had joint fusion, they say it wasn't worth it and little if any pain was helped.

I've delt with DDD and DJD for over 40 yrs. Have had many periods of 3 months or so where I could barely walk.

About all i've found that helps is muscle relaxants for spasms, and Oxycontin CR. You must do some kind of exercises and stretches. Any part you dont use, you'll loose the use of it. If the disc is completely gone, you may not have a choice but choose fusion.

I'm no dr, just know how"my" body works.

PS

After seeing the patient next to me only get operated on one side of his cervical because the students operating ran out of time in the operating room, than having to go through being knocked out and another operation the next day to finish it, I don't think I would have the VA operate anyway. I would rather get surgery where i'm not a lab rat.

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I know just how you feel.

I'm having more trouble with being able to stand. Numbness and shooting pain down both legs now. Butt cheeks feel brused. Used to be just the right leg or just the left. Have lost 1 inch in the length of my right leg due to muscle loss from nerve damage is my guess. But, just a guess cuz no ones ever said what caused it.

I've lost work just by sneezing and having a disk pop to the side.

I have several disks and joints in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar that are bad. One in the cervical that is poking the spinal cord, but hasnt penitrated it according to MRI results.

According to research i've read and people i've talked to who've had joint fusion, they say it wasn't worth it and little if any pain was helped.

I've delt with DDD and DJD for over 40 yrs. Have had many periods of 3 months or so where I could barely walk.

About all i've found that helps is muscle relaxants for spasms, and Oxycontin CR. You must do some kind of exercises and stretches. Any part you dont use, you'll loose the use of it. If the disc is completely gone, you may not have a choice but choose fusion.

I'm no dr, just know how"my" body works.

PS

After seeing the patient next to me only get operated on one side of his cervical because the students operating ran out of time in the operating room, than having to go through being knocked out and another operation the next day to finish it, I don't think I would have the VA operate anyway. I would rather get surgery where i'm not a lab rat.

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Thanks to everyone for the quick replies and information. I am 50 years old now (retired last year with 27 years AD), and have had LBP since 1992. I was injured in the line of duty as a flight mechanic with the Coast Guard. Luckily mine is no-where near as bad as most of the cases I've read. I had my C & P while still on active duty (Sept 2010). I just wanted to make sure that it was listed in case it gets worse as time goes by; I agree that there is likely a herniated disc pushing on nerves. That's why I was surprised to see it listed as DDD rather than the original diagnosis I received from the flight surgeon. I did have an MRI back in 2006 which merely showed compression and "slight" bulging at L4 L5.

I haven't received my results from the VA as of yet – I was told that I currently have a suspense date of July 18th.

Again thank you all - I really appreciate your time.

God Bless America - Jim

I bet if you are having numbness down your leg you have a herniated disc even if it is not really bad. When did you get a MRI the last time. When it starts to run down the leg it means the pulp of the disc is impinging on the nerve in a serious way. I am no doctor. I have DDD in neck and back so I am telling you what I know. I have herniation in my neck and I get the pain running across the shoulders and numbness. That is a clue you probably have some of your disc touching the nerves that run down your leg through the backbone. I am sure you know all this already. Has anyone recommended surgery? When VA says DDD they may be implying that it is just due to normal aging. I am really glad you filed your claim soon after discharge because if you wait the VA has a way of saying it is just due to age.

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