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Found 11 results

  1. Can anyone tell if this rateable... Not sure what to make of it..... VA medical disability exam results: RA - minimal talonavicular degenerative change is seen. Anarthodesis is seen at the base of the first carpal metacarpal articulation. A small superior calcaneal spur noted.
  2. I'm legally blind trying to find my docket #. Is there anyway I can look up my case by name, attorney, etc?
  3. All, I just received an IRIS response to an inquiry about my BVA appeal for ankle contentions. It indicated that on 2 June 2015 a docket number was assigned to my appeal (form-9), It’s been 3 months, should my BVA packet have been certified by now and sent to the BVA? How long does it take the RO to certify appeal packets?
  4. Well good afternoon my fellow Vet's!!! I am really deflated right now....It's going on 3 months since I had my DRO review hearing with no end in sight. I was told that it could be weeks to months to up to a year for the decision. What erk's me is the fact that I had my hearing why can't the DRO take the time to review and come to a ruling? It's so frustrating! I am going on 3 years since my initial claim and almost 2 years since I filed my NOD. I understand there are others in the same boat or worse boat and I do sympathize with all my fellow Vet's! Now on top of this, most of you know my story.....I broke my right foot in two places on Christmas Eve. I had surgery on January 6th, 2016 and I filed an FDC January 12th, 2016. I filed that my left ankle was the cause of my right foot injury. I was granted 100% temporary convalescence for 4 months due to my left ankle giving out on me and causing my right foot injury. Now if you all remember, I have my NOD since 2014 trying to get my right foot/ankle and left toe S/C which was denied in 2014. My medical records back up my s/c as well as my doctor's letters (IMO) that state my injuries are directly related to my active duty. But here I sit awaiting the NOD decision. Well yesterday I took a bad tumble and fell down the stairs causing sever bruising and swelling to my left ankle and left leg. I am sitting here at the West Palm VA as we speak awaiting to see my Podiatrist for the results of the X-rays BUT while I had my visit with him today, he had another doctor come in and look at my X-rays for my right foot and both of the doctor's state I need revision surgery to my right foot because the bone graft is not "uniting" the bone together. The Podiatrist I had do my surgery in January put pins/screws/plate in the one fracture but only bone graft in the other. Since then the bone is separating and the doctor feels the surgery is necessary and will require me to be out about 2-3 months once again! It's my right foot so I can't drive and it's frustrating! On top of this, my left foot/2nd metatarsal toe has two screws in it that are "coming up to the skin" and they feel that at the same time they do the right foot surgery they need to look into that! I literally just got back on my feet and was feeling okay! My feet/ankles SUCK! I feel so depressed! I just want to cry! I will update you with my X-ray findings but I needed to VENT!!!
  5. Hello, My back story: resigned my active duty commission in 1999 and submitted disability packet for bi-lateral shoulder condition (separated left shoulder, bursitis right shoulder), left knee (x2 surgeries), right ankle blow out, anemia, sinusitis, tinnitus, hearing loss, vertigo, right wrist tenosynovitis, Bell's Palsey, headaches, viral syndrome, low back pain, hemorrhoids, and bilateral hand and finger numbness due to mild ulnar entrapment. In late 2000, they came back with a20% rating- 10% for left knee, 10% for right ankle. I was also awarded 0% for sinusitis, right wrist, Bell's Palsey, hemorrhoids, and right shoulder. I was full on into my new civilian job and didn't know much about the appeal process so filed the paperwork away and didn't do anything. Fast forward to 2013 and 2014: experienced issues with my left shoulder (non-rated) and left knee, started with civilian doctor and also went to VA in Palo Alto, CA. Submitted a claim for increase on my left knee in Apr 2014, went through C&P process and received a 10% increase for left knee - for a total rating of 30%. In parallel, In May of 2014 started seeing the Ortho doctor in Palo Alto VA for left knee and left shoulder, and regular VA PCP for right wrist and other issues. The Ortho doc noted another meniscus tear in left knee and put me on crutches for 6 weeks (I had a 3rd left knee surgery by civilian doctor in Oct 2007). A year later, after physical therapy, VA Ortho conceded a 4th surgery was needed and I had it done in July 2015. In December of 2015, I submitted a new claim for: inc left knee, right knee strain secondary to left knee, low back pain secondary to left knee, increase to right wrist, increase to right ankle, reopen left shoulder with buddy statements corroborating shoulder separation, increase to right shoulder, headaches secondary to sinusitis,and tinnitus secondary to Bell's Palsey. Assisted by a VSO recommended from a good friend, I mailed my packet in with all the documentation in Dec 2015. I had my C&P exam in Feb 2016 in Palo Alto. Like many other postings, I had a bit of an issue with my C&P examiner. I was very nice and answered all of her questions to include the impact of all of my various aches and pains on my daily life. She did not properly measure my ROM for knees and shoulders with the goniometer and eye-balled it instead. My left knee hasn't straightened out since BEFORE the 4th knee surgery, yet she put down a 5% measurement. She also stated she, "question about veracity of her complains. Exam is significant for somatic amplification, lack of effort. Pain is out of proportion to findings on diagnostic test" and quoted an exam I had in Dec 2015 from a DIFFERENT Ortho doctor who completely wrote what he felt like in my record, "According to CPRS ORTHOPEDIC CLINIC note dated on DEC 10, 2015:- She is able to fully extend her knee and flex up to about 115 degrees. On PHYSICAL EXAMINATION of L knee she had Full extension and to 150 degrees of flexion in the left knee." So she thought I was exaggerating because a doctor pushed down on my leg and deemed it "fully extendable". Her review ultimately ended in an increased rating to 70%: 0% for left knee extension, 10% for right knee strain, 10% for right wrist increase, 20% for left shoulder, and 20% for right shoulder for a total rating of 70% (including previous year 10% increase for left knee). She completely blew off my low back pain secondary to my left knee because it's a "normal progression of getting older" and I am overweight. Duh. Difficult to lose weight when one has difficulties walking. She determined no increase for sinusitis, hemorrhoids, right ankle, and I am guessing since no increase on sinusitis, that means no secondary connection for headaches. Tinnitus was deferred, and after a few examinations in Texas (I relocated in Feb 2016 right after the C&P exam in Palo Alto), I recently received a 10% rating for tinnitus. Total rating is still 70% because tinnitus didn't move the needle at all. So here are my questions: 1. Should I submit a NOD or new claim for increase for left and right knees? After 4 left knee surgeries, an obvious altered gait that causes me to lean on my right leg, leading to right leg strain and low back pain, and the fact I STILL can't straighten my left leg completely, I went to my civilian doctor and physical therapist, who both stated my low back pain and increasing right leg problems are related to my left knee issues. I recently went to Ortho in Temple, Texas with regard to my right knee locking, knee cap popping, and constant pain in right knee, and they basically said here's a knee brace - go lose some weight. They offered injections too, but I'm a bit leery about doing those as I don't hear much good comes from them. I should also note, my physical therapist and the VA doctor in Temple both measured my left knee at 10% extension which should equal a 10% rating. 2. I have more documentation on my low back pain related to left knee - should I submit a NOD or new claim? I should note the surgeon who did my 3rd knee surgery in 2007 indicated I was headed toward knee replacement and should quit all sports and activities that would stress/strain my knee. It was discussed again last week at the VA Temple, but the PA said I need to lose weight before they can do a knee replacement (they really recommend against it at this time as I'm not even 50 yet). Talk about your Catch-22s. 3. I enlisted in the Army in Feb 1985 with a known hearing loss in my left ear and diagnosed BPPV (Benign Proximal Positional Vertigo). My medical records clearly show a hearing loss, yet my initial claim in 1999 was denied service connected for not enough documentation. There are also numerous mentions of vertigo in my records during active duty, reserves, and VA visits. In late 2002, the VA in Palo Alto was going to send me for evaluation with regard to Meniere's Disease, but in Feb 2003, my Reserve unit was called up to support the war (I did not go overseas, we were sent to Fort Leonard Wood for stateside support) and that eval got put on hold. When I returned back to Cali at the end of the one year tour, my job relocated me to Texas. While I had recurring vertigo episodes I did not pursue the eval for Meniere's because they didn't happen all that frequently. Fast forward to 2014 and my hearing problems, tinnitus, and vertigo frequency increased dramatically. Tinnitus 24/7, hearing loss in the upper Hz levels worsened, and vertigo episodes of short duration is a weekly occurrence. I started going to the VA for those issues, and have an appointment in Austin next week for Meniere's evaluation. My question is: should they say yes, I have it, how do I get it service connected when hearing loss is not-service connected? Note: my hearing loss is in the 3000-8000 range whereas the VA only counts it a rate able loss in the 1000-4000 range. I've had life long issues with my left ear, hearing, vertigo that I can document with family statements, a few medical records from childhood, and I went through my medical records page by page and highlighted every mention of hearing, vertigo, dizziness, anemia, viral, etc. If I am reading the requirements correctly, I could qualify for a 60% rating for Meniere's if it can be service-connected. I just don't know how I do that? Thank you for your help. Jen
  6. Well first off, SHOUT out to BUCK!!!! Thank you for the advice to go and get copies of my C&P exams from the BVA office at the VA Dallas Hospital! It worked like a charm! BTW these C&P exams were done at a QTC facility! So with that being said, I need your input on this C&P exam. I applied for an increase to my Left Ankle Synovitis 10% - totally loss on this and would love feedback! Please see attached the report. C&P left ankle increase.pdf
  7. Okay so I talked to a lady I know that helps veterans and she was able to read me what the C&P exam over the phone. She is not able to send me a copy so I will do as Buck advised and go to the VA hospital and get copies of them from the VBA office. This is exam was for my L ankle synovitis 10% increase on my FDC claim. "Diagnoses from VA originally L ankle synovitis has changed - new and separate diagnoses. Worsening symptoms of pain with rapid progression since right foot was injured. Weight and pressure to L since using knee scooter and using L to propel. Tendonitis & Tendinopathy of Peroneus Brevis." She noted constant pain and swelling - ROM Left dorsiflexion is 0 to 15; Plantar flexation is 0 to 25 Functional loss YES She noted Left instability of station; disturbance of locomotion; and pain/weakness If the examination is not being conducted immediately after repetitive use over time: [ ] The examination is medically consistent with the Veteran's statements describing functional loss with repetitive use over time. [ ] The examination is medically inconsistent with the Veteran's statements describing functional loss with repetitive use over time. Please explain. [X] The examination is neither medically consistent or inconsistent with the Veteran's statements describing functional loss with repetitive use over time. She indicated all the way back to 1991 while in the service and reviewed all previous records from service time to current to include, SMR's; DBQ's submitted in 2013 and all my VA medical records with my current podiatrist since 2014 to present. She noted - functional impact - regardless of veteran's current employment - effects standing, weight bearing, and walking she checked YES The doctor noted unable to do ROM due to Non-weight bearing of the right foot and she noted the scars and measurements as well. She noted that I had multiple injuries to Left ankle All C&P exams according to the Ebennies calendar has been acknowledged as received as of today so they are in the VA hands now... This all I got from a phone call thoughts????
  8. Hey everybody, just a quick update on me. On Friday I had a joint C&P exam for my R ankle and hips for secondary claims. Ankle was found Dorsiflexion of 0-5 and Plantar flexion of 0-40 Hips were found flexion: 0-40 extension: 0-20 Abduction: 0-20 Adduction 0-20 Rotation, external 0-20 and internal 0-20. Examiner opined that the ankle was at least as likely as not caused by already SC L ankle, but the hips were found less likely as not caused by current SCDs. X-rays of hips showed nothing. Ok, now hear this...he suggested/advised that I call my PCP and request for an MRI for my hips for further evaluation and treatment. Is this his way of saying that my pain and reduced ROM are for real and should be further investegated that I may then be SCd? He also said in his opinion it seems more likely that the soft tissue of the pelvis/hip region is inflammed which is causing my pain and reduced ROM. And that I may need to see a Rheumatologist for treatment. Not sure what that is implying, but I have heard of rhuematoid arthritis, is this what he may be hinting at? Ok PTII, today I had a C&P for depression secondary to chronic pain... One of my worst ever exams!!! When he was done(VA phyc) I felt that I shouldn't have even filed that claim. He was very nice and polite, but every twist and turn he kept trying to lead me outside of my AD time and the years since. He kept asking about before I went in the Marines. I kept redirecting by saying these things and symptoms all started after my enlistment began. He kept repeating the same questions over and over, waiting for me to slip up. I knew what he was doing, and yet still felt like I was the one in the wrong. Then he went on some spiel about how 30% of the general population is depressed and most of them don't have suicide ideations and such. And that most of us are biologically predisposed to things like depression. He wanted me to try to explain why I think I don't have any friends, even though I had told him that my state of mind keeps me from doing that. I went into detail about my chronic sleep impairment and drinking, and he made it sound like it's the normal thing no big deal. I told him that I did not grow up with these things in my life or family. And that they all began to manifest after I was in the Marines. I told him that on my 5th day of boot camp, when I fell down the stairs, is the initiation point. Then he said he will have re-review my record to see if he really could find some way to SC this. Funny, it was supposed to be for secondary to chronic pain. He asked about current SCDs and I told him what they were and the ratings, several of which are listed as pain conditions. Is this normal? Or am I looking at a long road of NODs and BVA land??? I sure hope all that was just his way of trying to trip me up into screwing myself by saying the wrong thing. I did have a written statement covering things I wanted to make sure were covered, and I told him that a copy of same will be submitted into evidence for my claim, to ensure nothing from it gets left out. He made a funny face at that, but said it was a good idea to be prepared like that. Anyway, thanks for letting me ramble on. Andyman
  9. I thought I would provide an update. A SOC to my NOD was issued on 20 April 2015. The (2) two contentions that I filed with the NOD where denied an increase (Shoulder-20% and Ankle-10% already service connected). After receiving and reviewing the SOC and all evidence I have submitted since filing my NOD back in June 2014 and the recently received Service Medical Record ankle operation report, dated Nov 1983, I decided that it would be best to fight for the contention that I had the most evidence, which was my ankle. My SMR ankle operation report provides a diagnosis of trimalleolar ankle fracture. In 1983 I fractured my fibula and tibia and my talus was fractured and displaced resulting in two screws fixing the fibula and two scars on both ankles. I don’t believe the ankle operation report was ever in the VA possession. The reason why I say this is because after recently reviewing my C-File I notice where the VA doctors placed at least two request for a copy of my SMR, this happened prior to each time I had a C&P exam back in 1989 and 1998 during increases to my service connected disabilities and it appears that my SMR was never received or included into my C-File. I recently requested a copy of my SMR from the NRA, but only received my ankle operation report which happened to be what I like to believe the smoking gun in regard to my appeal. Thankfully when I filed my NOD I indicated that my current moderate ankle limitation (5271) of 10% should be properly coded as moderate fibula & tibia impairment (5262) of 20%. When I received my SOC again I indicated on my VA Form-9 that my current moderate ankle limitation (5271) of 10% should be properly coded as moderate fibula & tibia impairment (5262) of 20%. Two weeks ago I mailed my VA Form-9 to appeal to the BVA along with a copy of my SMR ankle operation report which I don’t believe was ever considered. I am hoping that the SMR ankle operation report sheds light on a more accurate picture of my ankle disability, and that I receive the proper code and higher rating.
  10. 1989-I was medically discharged for eczema and rated at 10% service connected. 1999 and 2000-The VA rated my ankle (5271-Moderate Ankle Limited Motion) at 10% and shoulder (5202-Dislocations) at 20% service connected. Total rating: 40%. Oct 2012-I filed for reevaluation and increase for all three service connected disabilities. Mar 2013-C & P Exam. Examiner stated that x-rays will be order. I was never contacted or afforded the opportunity to have x-rays done according to the examiner. Aug 2013-Received VA Decision. No change in the three ratings, but received an increase of 10% for limited motion of the shoulder. Total rating: 40%. Feb 2014-Seeked private medical appointment (overseas) and was referred for Ankle x-rays and shoulder MRI. Right ANKLE FINDINGS: Frontal, lateral and oblique views of the right ankle show no fracture or dislocation. Two screws are present in the distal right fibular metaphysis without evidence of loosening or fracture. The ankle mortise and other imaged joint spaces are maintained. Mild osseous sclerotic changes are present in the medial and lateral malleoli. Plantar enthesophyte is noted. There is no significant soft tissue swelling. IMPRESSION: 1. No acute osseous abnormality. 2. Two screws in the distal right fibula without evidence of complication. 3. Mild degenerative changes in the ankle. Right SHOULDER FINDINGS: SUPRASPINATUS: The tendon is intact. There is heterogeneous fluid signal and thickening, consistent with tendinosis. INFRASPINATUS: Chronic articular sided partial thickness tear with a large segment of scarring, measuring 1.5 ern, Some fibers remain intact, as the tendon does not appear retracted, TERES MINOR: Intact. SUBSCAPULARIS: Intact. There is heterogeneous fluid signal and thickening, consistent with tendinosis. LONG HEAD OF THE BICEPS TENDON: Normal. MUSCLE VOLUME: Normal in signal and bulk. ROTATOR CUFF INTERVAL: Unremarkable. AXILLARY POUCH: Evaluation is limited given the relative absence of fluid in the glenohumeral joint space. No large bone fragments. LABRUM: There is near complete circumferential degenerative tearing of the labrum. A small amount of anterior labrum maintained. Multiple para-labral cyst involving both the anterior inferior and posterior inferior labrum. ACROMIOCLAVICULAR JOINT: Abnormal with hypertrophy of the capsule and fluid within the joint space. No widening of the joint space. Subchondral cystic and sclerotic changes. ACROMION TYPE: II, small enthesophyte at the deltoid insertion. Undersurface osteophyte at the acromioclavicular joint. No downsloping. BONES: There is extensive amount of subchondral sclerosis and cystic changes of the glenoid. Ring osteophyte of the humeral head. SUBACROMIAL/SUBDELTOID BURSA: Small amount of fluid in the bursa. OTHER: Unremarkable. IMPRESSION: 1. EXTENSIVE OSTEOARTHRITIC CHANGES OF THE GLENOHUMERAL JOINT. 2. PRIOR HIGH-GRADE PARTIAL-THICKNESS ARTICULAR SIDED TEAR OF THE INFRASPINATUS TENDON. 3. SUBSCAPULARIS AND SUPRASPINATUS TENDINOSIS. 4. ACROMIOCLAVICULAR JOINT ARTHROSIS. Used this radiology report with NOD as medical evidence. June 2014-Filed NOD for insufficient C&P Exam and noted that Right Ankle should be rated under (5262- Fibula Impairment with Moderate Ankle Disability) at 20% secondary to (5003- Painful Motion) at 10% vice the current (5271-Moderate Ankle Limited Motion) at 10% and Right Shoulder (5201-Arm Limitation and Painful Motion) at 20% secondary to my existing (5202-shoulder dislocation) at 20%.. July 2014-Seeked private medical appointment with Ortho Doc (stateside) for ankle and shoulder pain. Additional x-rays taken of ankle and shoulder. Prescribed ankle support brace and recommended brace fitting for shoulder. Ortho Doc also suggested in report for ankle a well-defined lucent lesion in the distal fibula and plantar calcaneal enthesophyte/spur. Also submitted this report as supporting medical evidence. Your opinion and thoughts are appreciated. Thank you.
  11. I do not know if I have any right to a CUE, or any sort of review, so forgive me if I have posted in the wrong forum in error. I will give a history and wait for comment: April 1992 - Enlist. May 1993 - x-ray for ankle spain. No damage to the foot or ankle is observed. Tendon calcification is noted. 23 Jan 1994 - In Service accident: Dislocation of ankle (set) Broken tibia (plate and screws) Crushed/fractured 4th and 5th metatarsal (5th was open facture) Closed head injury (staples, stitches and scars) Scars 18 Feb 1994 - Hospital discharge paperwork only mentions the above. While in-service recovering I had multiple operations, casting, x-rays, and Physical Therapy. 31 Mar 1994 - X-Ray states that a healed fracture of the calcaneus (heal bone) is noted. This is only one of two times it is mentioned in my medical records. 17 May 1994 - Xray mentions healed calcaneus. Missed or closed reductoin that is never mentioned in medial records. Aug 1995 - Discharge and rated 10% disabled for arthritis. This was verified today with my VA DSO. 2013 - Spent 18 years thinking that getting 10% for my ankle was good. Then looked through medical paperwork in preparation of seeing a private doctor to consult on the possible realignment of Stevens Type III calcaneus malunion and realised that my deformed ankle was never taken into account in my rating. Nor was my range of motion in 4 angles (poor), Poor weight bearing position, malunion, and other moderate foot injuries. I will try to describe the state of my heel and ankle. The rest of the damage is as imagined: My heel is at an angle all the time. Trying to use my leg muscles I can put my heel in a straight up an down possition, but this is as far as I can go, and it is not the relaxed possition. Doing this also raises my toes into an unnatural possition. the heel and the pad are off-set from center by about 10 degrees. This causes me to partially stand on the side of my heel. The joint and heel are very wide and make wearing some shoes difficult. There is a scar on the bottom of my heel that can be painful after a long time on my feet. I know we are not medical experts, but if the radiologists stated I had a broken calcaneus/heel why would the doctor not mention it? Could this be a reason to open a claim? lastly, if I get private work done would that destroy my chances of getting a higher percentage? finally Is chasing this even worth it?
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