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Found 5 results

  1. First I'd like to thank all of you for the great assistance you provide! I'm a long time lurker but finally created an account to post this question to the experts today. Background: - Discharged from active duty in September 2000 - Participated in a "VA Pilot Program" where you sat with a VA clerk during out-processing to determine any potential disability claims, which were then submitted by the clerk for you. - In Jan 2001, received a decision letter with the following rating, back dated to my date of discharge: "Service connection for degenerative disease of low back has been established as directly related to military service. An evaluation of 10 percent is assigned under diagnostic code 5293. An evaluation of 10 percent is assigned if there are mild symptoms associated with intervertebral disc syndrome." Fast forward to 2018. I experienced a herniated L4-L5 disc and had a (mostly unsuccessful) discectomy . I applied for an increase for my Degenerative Disease of the lower back and for radiculopathy of the sciatic nerve in both legs. My claim was closed in October 2019 with no increase for the Degenerative Disc Disease (a story for another time, but a bad C&P was involved and I've already filed a supplemental), and new secondary ratings for the radiculopathy: 10% Left Leg and 10% Right Leg back dated to my 2018 surgery and the right leg increased for some unknown reason to 20% on the date of my (bad) C&P exam in August 2019. My question: In reviewing my original 2000 claim decision letter today, I found this statement listed under FACTS: "MRI findings have revealed degenerative changes and degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine. EMG studies have revealed mild chronic recurrent L-4 root irritation." Keep in mind, at the time of discharge I was only rated for the Degenerative Disc Disease, not any leg/nerve issues, though it is clear from my Service Medical Records I also had recurring leg pain and numbness. Is it odd that they literally called out the EMG results in my rating decision but did not grant an award for Sciatic Paralysis/Neuralgia/Radiculopathy back in 2000? Based on the current schedule (http://www.militarydisabilitymadeeasy.com/lowernerves.html) I think the "mild chronic recurrent L-4 root irritation" would have granted a rating of 10% for incomplete partial paralysis (8520) and/or neuralgia (8720). But...did these codes even exist back in 2000? I certainly was not aware or told that the nerve/leg pain was a separate rating. How would I even go about finding out if these diagnostic codes existed in 2000? In the event there was a rating available for this back in 2000, would this be something that would be eligible for a CUE? Obviously after almost 20 years I'm well outside the window to appeal the decision, but I feel the clear unmistakable evidence is right in the VA's own decision letter, and 20 years of an additional 10% rating makes this worth my time and energy. Thanks again for all you do!
  2. I thought I should finally share my story... I separated from the Navy in June of 2014. I started my first VA claim as a quick start ( I was still active duty) claim but it was anything but quick. I went through a rep at MCRD in San Diego who helped people separating the military file initial claims. I claimed/filed for migraines, TMJ, neck scar, lower back pain and shooting pains down left and right leg. I submitted copies of my AD medical records and went to all my CP exams. After waiting close to a year, I got my BBE that contained my claim award that I very much needed and expected a good outcome. I got a big fat 0%. Migraines- 0%, scar- 0%, Tmj 0% and denied completely on my lower back pain condition and shooting pains down left/right leg. I was so angered by my outcome that I lost all faith in the VA and threw my BBE in a drawer and decided to forget the VA and move on with my life. Fast forward to two years later something got me fired up again about the process/original outcome I received from the VA. I began to do my homework and stumbled across this site. The stories I read gave me hope and personal insight into others who had filed for the same conditions I did. I got smart and marched straight into the San Diego Regional office and joined a Veteran's Organization. I personally went with AMVETS as they were the first group to reach out to me and I like what the rep had to say. I could tell he was really there to help me with my claim. I filed for increases on Migraines, scar and TMJ. I also started a new claim for my lower back pain and shooting pains down left/right leg since I was past the one year mark to file an appeal. We also filed new claims for depression/anxiety, acne and tinnitus. I gave him all my medical records from AD and my separation physical that was missing from my original claim. To better my claim outcome my VO suggested I get DBQs filled out by my personal doctor and dentist for my Migraines and TMJ. I once again attended all CP exams the VA requested. My outcome this time was a small victory. I received: Migraines- 0%, Scar- 10% and TMJ 10% conditions for acne and my back had been deferred. From doing my homework I knew I was being low balled on my migraines and TMJ. My rep filed for a reconsideration on my Migraines and TMJ and resubmitted the DBQs from my personal doctors that had been overlooked by the VA ( they only considered the cp exam results). I then went for my next round of CP exams for my acne and lower back condition. My new rating came shortly after: Migraines: 50% TMJ- 20% Neck Scar- 10% Lower Back Pain- 10% Sciatica Left Leg- 20% Sciatica Right Leg- 10% Acne- 0% Allergic Rhintis- 0% Depression/Anxiety- Denied because doctor had stated it "resolved" in service. Tinnitus- Denied Combined Rating- 80% Without the help of Hadit.com I would have never been able to go through this process again and get this outcome! I went from 0% to 80% within 6 months. I'm so thankful to everyone who has posted here and I'm hoping I can help out another Vet by contributing! My fight with the VA is not over! I'm beginning the process to file a CUE claim on my lower back pain and left/right shooting pains down leg to get my effective date pushed back to my separation date. The VA originally denied my back claim stating that there was no medical evidence in my file. They were wrong. Best wishes to everyone and keep fighting!!!
  3. Hello fellow Vets, So today I began my journey of filing my first CUE claim with the help of my VSO. I've been rated appropriately for my Migraines (50%) and my lower back condition with sciatica to left and right leg (Combined 40%) over the past several months. The goal now is that I'm challenging the effective date for these conditions to my separation date of 6/30/2014. I was originally denied my back claim and rated 0% for Migraines. I've proven my back claim was service connected and wrongfully initially denied. The challenge will be getting my Migraine effective date changed but I'm hopeful. The VA has pushed back every step of the way! I'm going to do my best to keep a timeline of events and keep everyone posted with my claims progress. Wish me luck!!! 05/09- CUE claim filed 5/18- Preparation for Decision
  4. Looking for some extra guidance. I go through a county VSO and they are a great asset to have but I always like to do my own research and last time i went in, the info i got from reading here and from the post i had helped out my award the last time. I am currently rated 10% for a lumbar strain. I am going through a C&P that is pending at this point. Prior to the C&P exam but after I filed, I had to have emergent surgery on my L5-S1 (i was falling constantly). In the claim, I filed for an increase in my low back strain, i filed for the bilateral leg weakness associated with the foot drop, bilateral radiculopathy, among many other things. Most pertaining to the back and the symptoms. I am rated for the left hip and knee and filed for right knee and hip secondary to the altered gait which is in appeals and sent in a nexus letter. Since surgery i have had lot of issues with my lower legs and the nerves. Mind you it has been 17 years since the initial injury so i expected the problems with the nerves. The doctor told me it wasn't going to be an easy road and i may always have it. It has (knock on wood) corrected the constant falling that i was having so to me the surgery was a success. My question to everyone is about the new symptom. I have since developed bilateral restless leg syndrome (RLS). I have the cramping like i just ran a marathon, pins and needles, and the feeling like something is constantly crawling on my skin. This is all in the evening and thought the night. All of which has developed post surgery and has increased every day since. because i am rated for the radiculopathy, is this something that the VA considers to be the same or is this in a totally different class of its own? I plan on filing a claim on it any way but my near Surgeon is sending me to a Neurologist so i want to wait to make sure that the diagnosis is there first. I am also trying to get into both my VA and personal primary care to get the diagnosis as well in order to have it well documented as i know how the VA wants it spelled out for them. I am just curious how they like to rate this. Also, because of the RLS, this has caused a massive issue with sleep disturbance. Is this something that i should file with it as they go hand in hand? How do you guys think i should handle this to have the best outcome? Thank you so much!!
  5. Hello everyone, I am just curious at what I looking at for compensation. I am currently SC 20% for back and 10% for right radiculopathy. I am looking to get SC for left radiculopathy and an increase in my back. Thoughts please. My thoughts. I get SC for bilateral readiculopathy @ 10% each and back stays the same at 20%. my goal is to get 30-40% for back. Important sections are in bold to cut through the silt.... LOCAL TITLE: C&P EXAMINATION STANDARD TITLE: C & P EXAMINATION NOTE DATE OF NOTE: AUG 07, 2015@08:00 ENTRY DATE: AUTHOR: EXP COSIGNER: URGENCY: STATUS: COMPLETED Back (Thoracolumbar Spine) Conditions Disability Benefits Questionnaire Name of patient/Veteran: Indicate method used to obtain medical information to complete this document: [ ] Review of available records (without in-person or video telehealth examination) using the Acceptable Clinical Evidence (ACE) process because the existing medical evidence provided sufficient information on which to prepare the DBQ and such an examination will likely provide no additional relevant evidence. [ ] Review of available records in conjunction with a telephone interview with the Veteran (without in-person or telehealth examination) using the ACE process because the existing medical evidence supplemented with a telephone interview provided sufficient information on which to prepare the DBQ and such an examination would likely provide no additional relevant evidence. [ ] Examination via approved video telehealth [X] In-person examination Evidence review --------------- Was the Veteran's VA claims file (hard copy paper C-file) reviewed? [ ] Yes [X] No If no, check all records reviewed: [ ] Military service treatment records [ ] Military service personnel records [ ] Military enlistment examination [ ] Military separation examination [ ] Military post-deployment questionnaire [ ] Department of Defense Form 214 Separation Documents [X] Veterans Health Administration medical records (VA treatment records) [ ] Civilian medical records [ ] Interviews with collateral witnesses (family and others who have known the Veteran before and after military service) [ ] No records were reviewed [ ] Other: 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 [X] Degenerative arthritis of the spine [ ] Intervertebral disc syndrome [ ] Sacroiliac injury [ ] Sacroiliac weakness [ ] Segmental instability [ ] Spinal fusion [ ] Spinal stenosis [ ] Spondylolisthesis [ ] Vertebral dislocation [ ] Vertebral fracture Diagnosis #1: Degenerative joint disease, lumbar spine, with bilateral sciatica ICD code: 721.3, 724.3 Date of diagnosis: 2003 2. Medical history ------------------ a. Describe the history (including onset and course) of the Veteran's thoracolumbar spine (back) condition (brief summary): 35 y/o male on active Marine Corps service 1998-2002 as enlisted aviation operations specialist. Currently works full-time as office manager, doing mostly desk work and sometimes teleworking from home. Gets his medical care usually via the VA, but also has a private doctor. Approx 2000 he injured his back while doing heavy lifting on his ship. Since then he has had recurrent back pain that has now become continuous. Currently while sitting at rest he says his low back pain is about 7 out of 10. If he sits for an hour, or walks or does yard work for about 45 min, then the pain gets up to 9-10 and takes several hours to return to baseline with rest. With the pain flares he describes reduced range of motion and weakness but not incoordination. The pain often radiates down the back of both legs, and also sometimes causes tingling and numbness. No bowel or bladder difficulties. No back surgery. Current meds: ibuprofen, vicodin, baclofen, gabapentin. Also uses an electrical stimulator intermittently. Has seen a chiropractor and physical therapy with modest temporary relief. Currently walks for exercise. In the past year has had to take off from work about 12 days because of back pain. 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: If he sits for an hour, or walks or does yard work for about 45 min, then the pain gets up to 9-10 and takes several hours to return to baseline with rest. With the pain flares he describes reduced range of motion and weakness but not incoordination. The pain often radiates down the back of both legs, and also sometimes causes tingling and numbness. 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. If he sits for an hour, or walks or does yard work for about 45 min, then the pain gets up to 9-10 and takes several hours to return to baseline with rest. With the pain flares he describes reduced range of motion and weakness but not incoordination. The pain often radiates down the back of both legs, and also sometimes causes tingling and numbness. 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 60 degrees Extension (0 to 30): 0 to 20 degrees Right Lateral Flexion (0 to 30): 0 to 20 degrees Left Lateral Flexion (0 to 30): 0 to 20 degrees Right Lateral Rotation (0 to 30): 0 to 30 degrees Left Lateral Rotation (0 to 30): 0 to 30 degrees If abnormal, does the range of motion itself contribute to a functional loss? [X] Yes (please explain) [ ] No If yes, please explain: Difficulty bending forward to reach. 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 Is there evidence of pain with weight bearing? [ ] Yes [X] 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): Mild-moderately tender over lumbar spines and paralumbar muscles. 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 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. Does pain, weakness, fatigability or incoordination significantly limit functional ability with repeated use over a period of time? [ ] Yes [ ] No [X] Unable to say w/o mere speculation If unable to say w/o mere speculation, please explain: Per patient history, pain, weakness, fatigability or incoordination could significantly limit functional ability during flare-ups or when the joint is used repeatedly over time. However I am unable to quantify the degree of reduced range of motion during the flare-ups because I don't observe them, and the patient's description is a widely variable estimate and also depends on subjective factors such as individual pain tolerance. It would be speculation for me to quantify an additional range of motion loss that might occur during flare-ups or repeated use. d. Flare-ups Is the exam being conducted during a flare-up? [ ] Yes [X] No If the examination is not being conducted during a flare-up: [ ] The examination is medically consistent with the Veteran's statements describing functional loss during flare-ups. [ ] The examination is medically inconsistent with the Veteran's statements describing functional loss during flare-ups. Please explain. [X] The examination is neither medically consistent or inconsistent with the Veteran's statements describing functional loss during flare-ups. Does pain, weakness, fatigability or incoordination significantly limit functional ability with flare-ups? [ ] Yes [ ] No [X] Unable to say w/o mere speculation If unable to say w/o mere speculation, please explain: Per patient history, pain, weakness, fatigability or incoordination could significantly limit functional ability during flare-ups or when the joint is used repeatedly over time. However I am unable to quantify the degree of reduced range of motion during the flare-ups because I don't observe them, and the patient's description is a widely variable estimate and also depends on subjective factors such as individual pain tolerance. It would be speculation for me to quantify an additional range of motion loss that might occur during flare-ups or repeated use. e. Guarding and muscle spasm Does the Veteran have guarding or muscle spasm of the thoracolumbar spine (back)? [X] Yes [ ] No Muscle spasm: [X] None [ ] Resulting in abnormal gait or abnormal spinal contour [ ] Not resulting in abnormal gait or abnormal spinal contour [ ] Unable to evaluate, describe below: Localized tenderness: [ ] None [ ] Resulting in abnormal gait or abnormal spinal contour [X] Not resulting in abnormal gait or abnormal spinal contour [ ] Unable to evaluate, describe below: Guarding: [ ] 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 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? [ ] Yes [X] No 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: [ ] Normal [X] Decreased [ ] Absent Foot/toes (L5): Right: [ ] Normal [X] Decreased [ ] Absent Left: [ ] Normal [X] Decreased [ ] Absent 7. Straight leg raising test ---------------------------- Provide straight leg raising test results: Right: [X] Negative [ ] Positive [ ] Unable to perform Left: [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): Constant pain (may be excruciating at times) Right lower extremity: [X] None [ ] Mild [ ] Moderate [ ] Severe Left lower extremity: [X] None [ ] Mild [ ] Moderate [ ] Severe Intermittent pain (usually dull) Right lower extremity: [ ] None [X] Mild [ ] Moderate [ ] Severe Left lower extremity: [ ] None [X] Mild [ ] Moderate [ ] Severe Paresthesias and/or dysesthesias Right lower extremity: [ ] None [X] Mild [ ] Moderate [ ] Severe Left lower extremity: [ ] None [X] Mild [ ] Moderate [ ] Severe Numbness Right lower extremity: [ ] None [X] Mild [ ] Moderate [ ] Severe Left 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: [ ] Right [ ] Left [X] Both d. Indicate severity of radiculopathy and side affected: Right: [ ] Not affected [X] Mild [ ] Moderate [ ] Severe Left: [ ] Not affected [X] Mild [ ] Moderate [ ] Severe 9. Ankylosis ------------ Is there ankylosis of the spine? [ ] Yes [X] No 10. Other neurologic abnormalities ---------------------------------- Does the Veteran have any other neurologic abnormalities or findings related to a thoracolumbar spine (back) condition (such as bowel or bladder problems/pathologic reflexes)? [ ] Yes [X] No 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? [ ] Yes [X] No 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? [ ] Yes [X] No 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? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, describe (brief summary): Able to sit for the interview. Gait is normal. Limits his back ROM due to pain. 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 15. Diagnostic testing ---------------------- a. Have imaging studies of the thoracolumbar spine been performed and are the results available? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, is arthritis documented? [X] Yes [ ] No b. Does the Veteran have a thoracic vertebral fracture with loss of 50 percent or more of height? [ ] Yes [X] No c. Are there any other significant diagnostic test findings and/or results? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, provide type of test or procedure, date and results (brief summary): MRI,SPINE LUMBAR W/O CONT. Exm Date: MAR 20, 2015@19:14 INDICATION: Back pain radiating down the right more than left leg. COMPARISON: Lumbar spine MRI 2/11/2003. Lumbosacral spine x-rays 1/14/2014. TECHNIQUE: MRI of the lumbar spine including: sagittal and axial T1 and fast-T2. Sagittal fast-STIR. FINDINGS: This report assumes five lumbar-type vertebral bodies. Lumbar spine alignment is preserved. Vertebral body heights and disc space heights are preserved. Normal disc signal. No developmental narrowing of the spinal canal. Diffusely abnormal T1-dark marrow signal, similar to 2003. The tip of the conus medullaris is at L1; the conus medullaris and nerve root of the cauda equina have an unremarkable appearance. At L1-2, no spinal canal or neural foraminal narrowing. At L2-3, no spinal canal or neural foraminal narrowing. At L3-4, no spinal canal or neural foraminal narrowing. At L4-5, diffuse disc bulge. Minimal spinal canal narrowing. Mild bilateral facet arthropathy. Minimal bilateral neuroforaminal narrowing. At L5-S1, disc bulge with small superimposed central protrusion. Bilateral facet arthropathy with small posteriorly oriented in facet joint cyst on the right. Mild bilateral neural foraminal narrowing, left greater than right. Within the limits of this examination, no infrarenal abdominal aortic aneurysm. Impression: 1. Minimal multilevel facet arthropathy without evidence of neural impingement. 2. Persistent diffusely abnormally dark T1-marrow signal. This is nonspecific but can seen with smoking, anemia, hematopoietic or hyperplastic marrow or marrow dyscrasias; neoplastic lymphoproliferative conditions would be unlikely to remain stable in appearance since 2003. 16. Functional impact --------------------- Does the Veteran's thoracolumbar spine (back) condition impact on his or her ability to work? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes describe the impact of each of the Veteran's thoracolumbar spine (back) conditions providing one or more examples: Avoid heavy lifting. 17. Remarks, if any: -------------------- Veteran was informed that this evaluation is for compensation and pension purposes only, and he/she is to return to his/her treating clinician for regular medical care.
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