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Found 8 results

  1. Hello. A friend of mine told me about this website and suggested I ask this question. Right now, I'm in the reserve, and on the 2nd week of my annual training. Last week, during a field exercise, I was lifting something heavy and threw out my lower back, and they put me on light duty for the remainder of my AT. Someone suggested I should file a claim with the VA, however, this is not the first time I've hurt my lower back. About three years ago I did the same thing while at home working in the yard, it was completely unrelated to military service, and not an any orders, and I've received care at the VA since then. I'm able to get free care at the VA since I'm 50% overall between a few different things. They did an MRI, and I've been to physical therapy, and it was mostly manageable over time, and I haven't been in physical therapy for over six months. My question then here is: If I hurt my back three years ago, documented as outside of service, then will the VA grant service connection if I essentially re-injured it here while on annual training orders? I'm already service connected for conditions related to mid and upper back (rated as thoracic and cervical spine), and they are manageable through physical therapy and medications over the years. But this injury has been treated at the VA as lumbar spine, with some radiating pain down through the leg to the foot. I don't have any service connections for lumbar or leg conditions. My plan right now is to simply go back to the VA and tell them what happened to try and re-start physical therapy as I had been for the past three years for this issue. But I'm not sure what to do about VA service connection, or if that's even possible. Thank you
  2. Hello everyone. I am helping a friend and vet that lives in Alabama. In 2012 he filed a claim for a back condition. He was in a car accident while in service and his medical evidence did show that he had a spine injury. The VA denied his claim and his 2012 decision letter stated that there wasn't a link connected while in service even though he had everything showing for his back. He did not appeal that decision in 2012. He just recently submitted a claim for his back condition. This time he was granted service connection and was awarded 20% for lumbar with an effective date of 13 Jan 2020. even though that he did not appeal the 2012 claim, reopened his back claim in 2020 and was awarded should he do a supplemental claim for an earlier effective date?
  3. I was rated over a decade ago at 10% for a Lumbar Strain. About 5 years ago the rating was increased to 20% for lumbar strain with an additional (secondary) rating of 10% for radiculapothy, sorry spell check won't touch that, numbness of the left extremity. I finally filed an appeal tied in with another issue that included a full diagnosis by a real doctor. It included multiple issues, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease and on and on. Does the VA rate those independently through the combined rating table, or do they simply grant the highest rating of all the issues? I always felt like "lumbar strain" sounded rather temporary. My doc says I will need 2-3 fusions, I'm just terrified to do it and can't afford to stay out of work for a couple of months.
  4. Sorry for the 'wall of text' ... First off I would like to thank everyone for their service. Whether you served in one of the honorable branches or are just a contributor to this wonderful forum I have been lurking on, commitment to Veterans is valued. I am a female, Vietnam era, USMC vet. There are not many of us, as during those days they trained the women as the men, resulting in a high attrition rate. I believe it was due to this intense training that I am, in my old age, starting to feel the burn. I was never as proud as the day that my Eagle, Globe and Anchor were pinned on me. It was a lot of work to become a Marine and, sadly, it took its toll. During Boot I started having problems with my R knee giving way. I had this happen to me in high school from running track, but never did my knee cap totally dislocate nor tear my meniscus, as it did that night in the Leather Neck Lanes @ MCRDSD. I was seen the next day in Ortho and subsequently diagnosed with a Sublexing Patella (7244 EPTE) and awarded 10% disability. This was 1975. Within six months after I was discharged, I got a good job with the railroad. The job only lasted a few months, as my knee went out on me while at work. I was seen at the V.A. in Los Angeles. They put a full leg cast on me, which I was to wear for six months. I applied for my disability then, but was denied. I do not recall the exact reason I was denied, but I do recall that there was an issue with my DD214. I had gone in initially as a Reserve, but later went Active. My last period of service was on my final DD214 but not my first. This required a correction and a DD215 was issued. Finally the DoD did get my paperwork corrected. After a few months in the cast my boyfriend removed it, as it was causing me back pain. We were both totally amazed to see my leg that had been hidden for over four months, as it was practically non-existent! It had atrophied beyond belief and took quite a bit of work to regain the muscle. However my knee did not act up for some time. The V.A. had stated they rated me at 0% and gave me a card that stated that I was service-connected. In 1980 my knee decided to go out on me again. And again I applied to the V.A. for my service-connected disability. Again I was turned down. And this time they wanted my V.A. service-connected card, stating I was not V.A. rated. In 1993 I got involved in a new 'fad' called the Internet. I started building small networks. It was a great job, sitting behind a computer, watching my business flourish. In 2000 'dial-up' came to an end, with the prolific growth in wireless comms. My job changed from sitting behind a computer to climbing towers and high rises to install wireless systems. In 2006 my darn 'Marine Corps' knee returned. It was not the sublexion I had experienced in years past, but more of a 'giving way' that caused me to fall down some stairs and injur my shoulder. By this time I had given up on the V.A. ever recognizing my 'service-connected' injury, so I just started wearing a soft knee brace. In 2012 I was climbing a tower and was 80' in the air when my knee decided to 'give way' ... That was a harrowing experience. If not for my safety harness I would have been 'splat' on the deck. I decided because of this I could not climb anymore. And because of this it cost me more to run my business. In 2014 I sold my business, as I was no longer capable of the physical aspect. I took a loss and now live on a small SS Survivors pension. The last two winters have been hell for me, as my knee has now developed arthritis and is causing me sever problems with my back. In 2009 I was diagnosed by the V.A. with DDD of the Lumbar. I am sure that my knee has contributed to this. Also I am now developing arthritis in my left knee. Last summer I tried to be seen for my back in V.A. emergency care, as I had a sever sciatica attack. I waited over four hours and finally checked back in with the ER only to learn that there was only one DR to see the backlog of patients. I left the V.A., once again disgusted. I decided last year if Trump was elected that I would re-apply to the V.A., as he made promises to clean-up the V.A. system. I reapplied the day of his Inauguration. I had my C&P last month. The C&P exam I found in MyHealthyVet and stated that my R knee was recognized by the examiner as: 'Recurrent subluxation R, Date of diagnosis: Right 1970. Knee joint osteoarthritis, both knees, Date of diagnosis: Right 2017. Comments: 1. Very mild lateral subluxation of the patella.2. Degenerative change involving the patellofemoral joint.3. Very mild degenerative change involving the knee joint.4. Very small knee joint effusion.5. Small popliteal cyst.6. Degenerative change involving the lateral meniscus.7. Degenerative change involving the medial meniscus and a tear involving theposterior horn of the medial meniscus cannot be excluded.Initial ROM R: Flexion: 5 to 110* Extension: 110 to 5*ROM L: Flexion: 0 to 115* Extension: 115 to 0* No ankylosis shown in either knee. The examiner noted that my recurrent subluxation and lateral insability of my R knee are both Severe with recurrent effusion. The examiner also noted: Crepitus bilaterally with right more pronounced than left. Atalgic gait with increased weight bearing to the left extremity. Also noted was a recent X-Ray that showed degenerative changes and was noted as Mild degenerative arthritis. The examiner scheduled an MRI and X-Ray of my L knee. The MRI indicated a small effusion. The X-Ray indicated Mild degenerative skeletal change. Under 'Functional Impact' it was stated that I "must be afforded opportunity to walk on smooth even surfaces. Must avoid repetitive walking inclines/declines, stairs and the use of ladders. Unable to tolerate prolonged standing or walking. Unable to participate in moderate to high impact aerobics. Unable to tolarate kneeeling or squatting. Also noted in the C&P: Veteran had CT Scan 2012 Lumbar spine indicating L4-L5 vacuum phenoma, DJD with recurrent cronic back pain/right radiculopathy s/s. She is requesting consideration for a MRI of lumbar spine. Veteran has positive history of MST but "does not want to deal with it at this time". After I read the report and saw that my status had changed from "Gather Evidence" to pending decision with a due date of 9/28/17, I became 'hopeful' that the V.A. was actually finally going to grant my service-connected disability. However yesterday that changed and hence the 'wall of text' I am dumping on your doorstep, in need of help. From my understanding they have sent in a request for 'clarification' from my examiner. As well they have not located my records from 1976 that shows when I initially applied and the course of action. They are now stating that my completion date is 1/18/18. I am well aware that the V.A. is like the military, hurry up just to wait. Is this normal that they would bump the date back this far? AND is there any indication that the V.A. is going to finally do right by this ole vet? If you made it this far, thanks! Semper Fi! WM
  5. Hello All, I am a 41yr old disabled vet (70%) Degenerative Arthritus of the left Knee 20%Degenerative Arthritus of the Right knee 20%Degenerative Disc Disease of the Lumbar Spine 10%Radiculopathy Right Lower Extremity 10%Radiculopathy Left Lower Extremity 10%Degenerative Tears, Bilateral Knees 20%Tinnitus 10% This exam was scheduled 1 week after my back surgery (Fusion of L4/L5). Hip and Thigh Conditions Disability Benefits Questionnaire Is this DBQ being completed in conjunction with a VA 21-2507, C&P Examination Request? [X] Yes [ ] No ACE and Evidence Review ----------------------- Indicate method used to obtain medical information to complete this document: [X] In-person examination Evidence Review --------------- Evidence reviewed (check all that apply): [X] VA e-folder (VBMS or Virtual VA) 1. Diagnosis ------------ a. List the claimed condition(s) that pertain to this DBQ: B/L HIP STRAIN DX 9-16 SECONDARY TO LUMBAR SPINE COND. b. Select diagnoses associated with the claimed condition(s) (Check all that apply): c. Comments (if any): No response provided d. Was an opinion requested about this condition (internal VA only)? Yes 2. Medical history ------------------ a. Describe the history (including onset and course) of the Veteran's hip or thigh condition: 16 W/U DX AS ABOVE PAIN STANDING B/L MRI WNL. TX MEDS. b. Does the Veteran report flare-ups of the hip or thigh? [ ] Yes [X] No c. Does the Veteran report having any functional loss or functional impairment of the joint or extremity being evaluated on this DBQ (regardless of repetitive use)? [ ] Yes [X] No 3. Range of motion (ROM) and functional limitations --------------------------------------------------- a. Initial range of motion Right hip --------- [ ] All Normal [X] Abnormal or outside of normal range [ ] Unable to test (please explain) [ ] Not indicated (please explain) Flexion (0-125): 0 to 90 degrees Extension (0-30): 0 to 30 degrees Abduction (0-45): 0 to 45 degrees Adduction (0-25): 0 to 25 degrees Is adduction limited such that the Veteran cannot cross legs? [ ] Yes [X] No External Rotation (0-60): 0 to 60 degrees Internal Rotation (0-40): 0 to 40 degrees If abnormal, does the range of motion itself contribute to a functional loss? [ ] Yes, (please explain) [X] No Description of pain (select best response): Pain noted on exam but does not result in/cause functional loss If noted on examination, which ROM exhibited pain (select all that apply)? Flexion Is there evidence of pain with weight bearing? [ ] Yes [X] No Is there objective evidence of localized tenderness or pain on palpation of the joint or associated soft tissue? [X] Yes [ ] No Is there objective evidence of crepitus? [ ] Yes [X] No Left hip -------- [ ] All Normal [X] Abnormal or outside of normal range [ ] Unable to test (please explain) [ ] Not indicated (please explain) Flexion (0-125): 0 to 90 degrees Extension (0-30): 0 to 30 degrees Abduction (0-45): 0 to 45 degrees Adduction (0-25): 0 to 25 degrees Is adduction limited such that the Veteran cannot cross legs? [ ] Yes [X] No External Rotation (0-60): 0 to 60 degrees Internal Rotation (0-40): 0 to 40 degrees If abnormal, does the range of motion itself contribute to a functional loss? [ ] Yes, (please explain) [X] No Description of pain (select best response): Pain noted on exam but does not result in/cause functional loss If noted on examination, which ROM exhibited pain (select all that apply)? Flexion Is there evidence of pain with weight bearing? [ ] Yes [X] No Is there objective evidence of localized tenderness or pain on palpation of the joint or associated soft tissue? [ ] Yes [X] No Is there objective evidence of crepitus? [ ] Yes [X] No b. Observed repetitive use Right hip --------- Is the Veteran able to perform repetitive use testing with at least three repetitions? [X] Yes [ ] No Is there additional loss of function or range of motion after three repetitions? [ ] Yes [X] No Left hip -------- Is the Veteran able to perform repetitive use testing with at least three repetitions? [X] Yes [ ] No Is there additional loss of function or range of motion after three repetitions? [ ] Yes [X] No c. Repeated use over time Right hip --------- Is the Veteran being examined immediately after repetitive use over time? [ ] Yes [X] No 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. Left hip -------- Is the Veteran being examined immediately after repetitive use over time? [ ] Yes [X] No 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. d. Flare-ups: Not applicable e. Additional factors contributing to disability Right hip --------- In addition to those addressed above, are there additional contributing factors of disability? Please select all that apply and describe: None Left hip -------- In addition to those addressed above, are there additional contributing factors of disability? Please select all that apply and describe: None 4. Muscle strength testing -------------------------- a. Muscle strength - rate strength according to the following scale: 0/5 No muscle movement 1/5 Palpable or visible muscle contraction, but no joint movement 2/5 Active movement with gravity eliminated 3/5 Active movement against gravity 4/5 Active movement against so me resistance 5/5 Normal strength Right Hip Rate Strength: Flexion: 5/5 Extension: 5/5 Abduction: 5/5 Is there a reduction in muscle strength? [ ] Yes [X] No Left Hip Rate Strength: Flexion: 5/5 Extension: 5/5 Abduction: 5/5 Is there a reduction in muscle strength? [ ] Yes [X] No b. Does the Veteran have muscle atrophy? No response provided c. Comments, if any: No response provided 5. Ankylosis ------------ Complete this section if the Veteran has ankylosis of the hip. a. Indicate severity of ankylosis and side affected Right side: Left side: [ ] Favorable, in flexion at [ ] Favorable, in flexion at an angle between 20 and an angle between 20 and 40 degrees, and slight 40 degrees, and slight abduction or adduction abduction or adduction [ ] Intermediate, between [ ] Intermediate, between favorable and unfavorable favorable and unfavorable [ ] Unfavorable, extremely [ ] Unfavorable, extremely unfavorable ankylosis, unfavorable ankylosis, foot not reaching ground, foot not reaching ground, crutches needed crutches needed [X] No ankylosis [X] No ankylosis b. Comments, if any: No response provided 6. Additional conditions ------------------------ No response provided 7. Surgical procedures ---------------------- No response provided 8. Other pertinent physical findings, complications, conditions, signs, symptoms and scars ----------------------------------------------------------------------- a. Does the Veteran have any other pertinent physical findings, complications, conditions, signs or symptoms related to any conditions listed in the Diagnosis Section above? [ ] Yes [X] No b. Does the Veteran have any scars (surgical or otherwise) related to any conditions or to the treatment of any conditions listed in the Diagnosis Section above? [ ] Yes [X] No c. Comments, if any: No response provided 9. Assistive devices -------------------- a. Does the Veteran use any assistive devices as a normal mode of locomotion, although occasional locomotion by other methods may be possible? [ ] Yes [X] No b. If the Veteran uses any assistive devices, specify the condition and identify the assistive device used for each condition: No response provided 10. Remaining effective function of the extremities --------------------------------------------------- Due to the Veteran's hip or thigh conditions, is there functional impairment of an extremity such that no effective functions remain other than that which would be equally well served by an amputation with prosthesis? (Functions of the upper extremity include grasping, manipulation, etc., while functions for the lower extremity include balance and propulsion, etc.) [ ] Yes, functioning is so diminished that amputation with prosthesis would equally serve the Veteran. [X] No 11. Diagnostic testing ---------------------- a. Have imaging studies of the hip or thigh been performed and are the results available? [ ] Yes [X] No b. Are there any other significant diagnostic test findings or results? No response provided c. If any test results are other than normal, indicate relationship of abnormal findings to diagnosed conditions: No response provided 12. Functional impact --------------------- Regardless of the Veteran's current employment status, do the condition(s) listed in the Diagnosis Section impact his or her ability to perform any type of occupational task (such as standing, walking, lifting, sitting, etc.)? [ ] Yes [X] No 13. Remarks, if any: -------------------- No response provided !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Back (Thoracolumbar Spine) Conditions Disability Benefits Questionnaire Name of patient/Veteran: PUGH Is this DBQ being completed in conjunction with a VA 21-2507, C&P Examination Request? [X] Yes [ ] No ACE and Evidence Review ----------------------- Indicate method used to obtain medical information to complete this document: [X] In-person examination Evidence Review --------------- Evidence reviewed (check all that apply): [X] VA e-folder (VBMS or Virtual VA) 1. Diagnosis ------------ Does the Veteran now have or has he/she ever been diagnosed with a thoracolumbar spine (back) condition? [X] Yes [ ] No Thoracolumbar Common Diagnoses: [ ] Ankylosing spondylitis [ ] Lumbosacral strain [ ] Degenerative arthritis of the spine [X] Intervertebral disc syndrome [ ] Sacroiliac injury [ ] Sacroiliac weakness [ ] Segmental instability [ ] Spinal fusion [ ] Spinal stenosis [ ] Spondylolisthesis [ ] Vertebral dislocation [ ] Vertebral fracture Diagnosis #1: PO DISC FUSION LUMBAR 2-17 Date of diagnosis: 2-17 2. Medical history ------------------ a. Describe the history (including onset and course) of the Veteran's thoracolumbar spine (back) condition (brief summary): AS ABOVE, DONE DUE TO R SCIATICA ,DROP R FOOT. b. Does the Veteran report flare-ups of the thoracolumbar spine (back)? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, document the Veteran's description of the flare-ups in his or her own words: PAIN c. Does the Veteran report having any functional loss or functional impairment of the thoracolumbar spine (back) (regardless of repetitive use)? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, document the Veteran's description of functional loss or functional impairment in his or her own words. LESS MOTION 3. Range of motion (ROM) and functional limitation -------------------------------------------------- a. Initial range of motion [ ] All normal [X] Abnormal or outside of normal range [ ] Unable to test (please explain) [ ] Not indicated (please explain) Forward Flexion (0 to 90): 0 to 20 degrees Extension (0 to 30): 0 to 10 degrees Right Lateral Flexion (0 to 30): 0 to 10 degrees Left Lateral Flexion (0 to 30): 0 to 10 degrees Right Lateral Rotation (0 to 30): 0 to 20 degrees Left Lateral Rotation (0 to 30): 0 to 20 degrees Description of pain (select best response): Pain noted on exam and causes functional loss If noted on exam, which ROM exhibited pain (select all that apply)? Forward Flexion, Extension, Right Lateral Flexion, Left Lateral Flexion, Right Lateral Rotation, Left Lateral Rotation Is there evidence of pain with weight bearing? [X] Yes [ ] No Is there objective evidence of localized tenderness or pain on palpation of the joints or associated soft tissue of the thoracolumbar spine (back)? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, describe including location, severity and relationship to condition(s): LUMBAR PAIN b. Observed repetitive use Is the Veteran able to perform repetitive use testing with at least three repetitions? [X] Yes [ ] No Is there additional loss of function or range of motion after three repetitions? [ ] Yes [X] No c. Repeated use over time Is the Veteran being examined immediately after repetitive use over time? [ ] Yes [X] No Does pain, weakness, fatigability or incoordination significantly limit functional ability with repeated use over a period of time? [ ] Yes [X] No [ ] Unable to say w/o mere speculation d. Flare-ups Is the exam being conducted during a flare-up? [ ] Yes [X] No e. Guarding and muscle spasm Does the Veteran have guarding or muscle spasm of the thoracolumbar spine (back)? [X] Yes [ ] No Muscle spasm: [ ] None [ ] Resulting in abnormal gait or abnormal spinal contour [X] Not resulting in abnormal gait or abnormal spinal contour [ ] Unable to evaluate, describe below: f. Additional factors contributing to disability In addition to those addressed above, are there additional contributing factors of disability? Please select all that apply and describe: Interference with sitting, Interference with standing 4. Muscle strength testing -------------------------- a. Rate strength according to the following scale: 0/5 No muscle movement 1/5 Palpable or visible muscle contraction, but no joint movement 2/5 Active movement with gravity eliminated 3/5 Active movement against gravity 4/5 Active movement against some resistance 5/5 Normal strength Hip flexion: Right: [X] 5/5 [ ] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 Left: [X] 5/5 [ ] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 Knee extension: Right: [X] 5/5 [ ] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 Left: [X] 5/5 [ ] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 Ankle plantar flexion: Right: [X] 5/5 [ ] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 Left: [X] 5/5 [ ] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 Ankle dorsiflexion: Right: [X] 5/5 [ ] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 Left: [X] 5/5 [ ] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 Great toe extension: Right: [X] 5/5 [ ] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 Left: [X] 5/5 [ ] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 b. Does the Veteran have muscle atrophy? No response provided. 5. Reflex exam -------------- Rate deep tendon reflexes (DTRs) according to the following scale: 0 Absent 1+ Hypoactive 2+ Normal 3+ Hyperactive without clonus 4+ Hyperactive with clonus Knee: Right: [ ] 0 [ ] 1+ [X] 2+ [ ] 3+ [ ] 4+ Left: [ ] 0 [ ] 1+ [X] 2+ [ ] 3+ [ ] 4+ Ankle: Right: [ ] 0 [ ] 1+ [X] 2+ [ ] 3+ [ ] 4+ Left: [ ] 0 [ ] 1+ [X] 2+ [ ] 3+ [ ] 4+ 6. Sensory exam --------------- Provide results for sensation to light touch (dermatome) testing: Upper anterior thigh (L2): Right: [X] Normal [ ] Decreased [ ] Absent Left: [X] Normal [ ] Decreased [ ] Absent Thigh/knee (L3/4): Right: [X] Normal [ ] Decreased [ ] Absent Left: [X] Normal [ ] Decreased [ ] Absent Lower leg/ankle (L4/L5/S1): Right: [ ] Normal [X] Decreased [ ] Absent Left: [X] Normal [ ] Decreased [ ] Absent Foot/toes (L5): Right: [ ] Normal [X] Decreased [ ] Absent Left: [X] Normal [ ] Decreased [ ] Absent 7. Straight leg raising test ---------------------------- Provide straight leg raising test results: Right: [X] Negative [ ] Positive [ ] Unable to perform 8. Radiculopathy ---------------- Does the Veteran have radicular pain or any other signs or symptoms due to radiculopathy? [X] Yes [ ] No a. Indicate symptoms' location and severity (check all that apply): Intermittent pain (usually dull) Right lower extremity: [ ] None [X] Mild [ ] Moderate [ ] Severe Numbness Right lower extremity: [ ] None [X] Mild [ ] Moderate [ ] Severe b. Does the Veteran have any other signs or symptoms of radiculopathy? [ ] Yes [X] No c. Indicate nerve roots involved: (check all that apply) [X] Involvement of L4/L5/S1/S2/S3 nerve roots (sciatic nerve) If checked, indicate: [X] Right [ ] Left [ ] Both d. Indicate severity of radiculopathy and side affected: Right: [ ] Not affected [X] Mild [ ] Moderate [ ] Severe 9. Ankylosis ------------ Is there ankylosis of the spine? [ ] Yes [X] No 10. Other neurologic abnormalities ---------------------------------- No response provided 11. Intervertebral disc syndrome (IVDS) and episodes requiring bed rest ----------------------------------------------------------------------- a. Does the Veteran have IVDS of the thoracolumbar spine? [X] Yes [ ] No b. If yes to question 11a above, has the Veteran had any episodes of acute signs and symptoms due to IVDS that required bed rest prescribed by a physician and treatment by a physician in the past 12 months? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, select the total duration over the past 12 months: PO SURGERY c. If yes to question 11b above, provide the following documentation that supports the Yes response: [X] Medical history as described by the Veteran only, without documentation: AS ABOVE [ ] Medical history as shown and documented in the Veteran's file: [ ] Other, describe: 12. Assistive devices --------------------- a. Does the Veteran use any assistive device(s) as a normal mode of locomotion, although occasional locomotion by other methods may be possible? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, identify assistive device(s) used (check all that apply and indicate frequency): Assistive Device: Frequency of use: ----------------- ----------------- [X] Brace(s) [ ] Occasional [X] Regular [ ] Constant b. If the Veteran uses any assistive devices, specify the condition and identify the assistive device used for each condition: No response provided. 13. Remaining effective function of the extremities --------------------------------------------------- Due to a thoracolumbar spine (back) condition, is there functional impairment of an extremity such that no effective function remains other than that which would be equally well served by an amputation with prosthesis? (Functions of the upper extremity include grasping, manipulation, etc.; functions of the lower extremity include balance and propulsion, etc.) [X] No 14. Other pertinent physical findings, complications, conditions, signs, symptoms and scars ------------------------------------------------------------------------ a. Does the Veteran have any other pertinent physical findings, complications, conditions, signs or symptoms related to any conditions listed in the Diagnosis Section above? [ ] Yes [X] No b. Does the Veteran have any scars (surgical or otherwise) related to any conditions or to the treatment of any conditions listed in the Diagnosis Section above? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, is there objective evidence that any of these scars are painful, unstable, have a total area equal to or greater than 39 square cm (6 square inches), or are located on the head, face or neck? (An "unstable scar" is one where, for any reason, there is frequent loss of covering of the skin over the scar.) [ ] Yes [X] No If no, provide location and measurements of scar in centimeters. Location: NEW DRESSING NOT REMOVED Measurements: length cm X width cm c. Comments, if any: No response provided 15. Diagnostic testing ---------------------- a. Have imaging studies of the thoracolumbar spine been performed and are the results available? [ ] Yes [X] No b. Does the Veteran have a thoracic vertebral fracture with loss of 50 percent or more of height? No response provided. c. Are there any other significant diagnostic test findings and/or results? No response provided. 16. Functional impact --------------------- Does the Veteran's thoracolumbar spine (back) condition impact on his or her ability to work? [ ] Yes [X] No
  6. Can the level of nerve impingement dictate the rating of Radiculopathy? my question is because i have been rated at 10% for mild the reason they gave me this is because no Dr. has ever stated to what severity i have... my mri shows/states moderate severe disk bulged the traversing nerve and i have moderate/severe forminal narrowing of the same nerve root. my thoughts is that isnt it exceptable and understandable that the level of severity would be dictated by the level of impingement ?
  7. I just received a letter this weekend that the Cleveland VARO has ordered 3 C&P exams. A little background first. 10/2010 - Submitted TDIU claim 11/2010 - General C&P exam & Mental health C&P 04/2012 - Received Rating increase decision, which was automaticaly filed by VA when filing TDIU. Total rating stayed the same (70%), but was lowered on my back without a ROM exam even the C&P Doc put measurements in my exam results, which is the main reason for my NOD letter above. TDIU deferred. 04/2012 - TDIU deferred status goes back to gathering evidence phase. 08/2012 - NOD sent. See my profile for sample letter I sent disagreeing with general C&P that was performed in 11/2010. 01/2013 - VA acknowledges my NOD & I selected a DRO to review it. 01/2013 - VA requests new C&P exams. What can I do to guard against the VA using the C&P as the sole weight when deciding my claim? I hope this C&P doc is a good one & doesn't lie like the last one. It was a good thing he didn't perform the last C&P according to VA regs or it would of been my word vs his. Can I record the C&P? If yes, do I have to let the doc know I'm voice recording the C&P? I have the general C&P tomorrow, then another mental health & then a TBI next week. I hope they get it right this time, because I don't know how much more I can take of this! Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks, ssgmajik
  8. This is my first post and I apologize if it's in the wrong area. I researched other peoples issues but I find mine to be a bit unique. I will do this chronologically and as summarized as possible: I left the U.S. Army Infantry in May of 2009, after serving since Jan 2006. I had not found any work but I was attending school (GI bill was coming in nice). When I received a recall packet (not unexpected at all) I dropped school happily to have my back checked out. Soon enough, they found the problem and released me. 9 Oct 2009 FINDINGS: There is bilateral spondylolysis at L5 with grade 1- spondylolisthesis of L5 on S1. IMPRESSION: 1. Bilateral spondylolysis at L5 with grade 1 anterolisthesis of L5 on S1. 2. Indistinctness of the superior endplate of L5, this may be artifactual, however a CT scan of the lumbar spine should be obtained for more complete evaluation. 15 Oct 2009 Radiologic Examination Report Procedure: CT L-Spine w/o contrast CAT scan lumbar spine There is grade 1 spondylolisthesis. No abnormality otherwise identified. Transcription Date/Time: 15 Oct 2009 23 Oct 2009 Provisional Diagnosis: ACQUIRED DEFORMITY - SPONDYLOLISTHESIS Reason for Request: 23 yeat old USIRR male with grade 1 spondylolisthesis, please evaluate and provide recommendations for deployability. --- Consult(s): -Referred To: PHYSICAL THEMPY CONSULT (72 Hours) Specialty: Clinic: PHYSICAL THERAPY Primary Diagnosis: ACQUIRED DEFORMITY - SPONDYLOLISTHESIS 2. sleep disturbances: Pt reports trouble sleeping seocndary to his physical symptoms. Has tried Ambien in past, was not able to tolerate med due to adverse side effects. Will start trial of Lunesta. Medication(s): -ESZOPTCLONE (LUNESTA) 1MG--PO 1MG TAB - TAKE 1 TABLET By MOUTH AT BEDTIME #30 RFO Ql 30 Rf: 0 & MedBoarded Now, I spent some time trying to get school back organized (disaster) when I got back. That and I took on the big ole VA alone: Dear Mr. (so and so) We made a decision on your claim for service connected compensation received on December 10,2009. We determined that the following condition was not related to your military service, so service connection couldn't be granted: Spondylolisthesis (claimed as back and spinal condition) During this time I was being made a cuckold by my now ex-wife who thankfully; bore none of my children. So I deal with my divorce and struggle to survive. Having still worked absolutely no jobs, I try for school again. Only this time I received my GI Bill a day after the last day to drop classes. I'm basically living out of my car when Dec 2011 rolls around and---- *Ring ring ring* "We want you to be Intelligence for the reserves" Ummmm.... unemployed for 3 years; yea, i'll go intelligence. BUT I want my back taken care of first because it's worse than ever. VA denied me so I never tried any support other than a chiropractor. I'm a 11B grunt, what do people expect?? Reserves say: No problem VA looks at my file like a train wreck, my unit gets SRP so probably deploying; my back gets checked: LOD - now they're looking at a medboard (#2 by my recollection). I'm stressed, I started to smoke marijuana because my g-ma that raised me (I moved one block from her nursing center to help feed/entertain) died a few months ago. I self referred to my command and now i'm in OSAP. While OSAP will help me quite smoking cigarettes, I doubt it will be as useful for me with marijuana. (My joke: Nicotine gum was my gateway drug.... didn't go over well) I know i'm going to smoke, it helps better than all the meds. My unit revoked my security so no longer can I "run S-2". Instead I'll be tasked to menial 11B labor for a stoner. I came to work, I busted ass; I even said "I'll come in for the flag". What did I get in return? First Ibuprofen, then; Tramadol Baclofen Meloxicam I initially opted out (myself!) of all of the higher end drugs because of my addictive personality. I'll pass on the surgeries, i'm 25; I should be able to do therapy! (Not a therapy 2 hours away, making the event worthless because the drive back will destroy everything they do....) All the meds either make me sick; or make me loopy. I only take baclofen now for bedtime when necessary... ----------- Now i'm supposed to talk to someone in the benefits section eh? It's been 3 years, I feel pain in my UPPER back, shoulders, neck, and arms as well as my lower extremities. My spine looked dominoed at my chiropractors and now the VA tells me: Treat it psychosomatically The pressure has me curling my toes all day long, I am in pain, I have trouble finding and holding suitable work that doesn't make me feel like a bus ran over me. They have had me shredding paper in the reserves because they know about my problem. When I've been asked about my back from VA, they say "Can you touch your toes". Never have they asked, "How far can you go before it hurts".... I always touched my toes and said "Thanks, now my back feels like ice" to those bastards! Any helpful data would be nice, I want to apply for 100% (Not looking to be a lifer people, I just have NO SUPPORT FOR MY CONDITION). I just want resolution so I can get back to a REGULAR life. My doctor should write me a bed rest prescription; it will prevent me from being hard labored at Drill these next few months thank god. Lastly; I exited the military over 200 pounds. Today I weigh 145. I've done the exact OPPOSITE of the boy who cried wolf; yet i'm treated as a malingerer the ENTIRE process. Any help at all, I will no doubt be homeless again soon when the paychecks stop coming next month.
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