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Found 10 results

  1. Hello, I have more questions than I can find answers so I thought I would create a post to see if any of these can be answered? I apologize for the length. I have read, read, and read some more on this board for years and I very much appreciate any assistance that can be offered. I will also be donating to support this all-important forum once I can get through this snail-pace of a process! I separated from service almost 6 years ago after 14 years in. I am currently rated at 30% disabled as I received 10% each for tinnitus, hypertension and a metatarsal fracture that occurred in service. I also received 0% connection for chronic thoracic & lumbar strain due to morbid obesity (?!). This grant to service connection dates back to the day after I got out of the service. I am not "morbidly obese" and this really bothers me that they have this described as such. I mean, why would they service connect if it's due to being overweight?? Makes no sense to me. Are they inferring that they are taking responsibility for being so called "obese" as well? We all know that you get kicked out of service if you are outside the physical readiness/weight requirements ... very frustrating and even insulting. The C&P examiner told me that he didn't have time to evaluate everything I had claimed so he didn't even look at some of my claimed issues physically, but I was still denied by the VA regardless as no service connection for some of these unexamined claims. Anyways, the C&P doctor told me to basically push through my discomfort (discomfort was evident) when conducting the range of motion part of my back exam, and he even placed his hand on my back when telling me to push further. I did not know at the time that he was not looking out for my best interests...so my range of motion came back within normal limits. I feel that this was wrong on his part but I did not know at the time, and I am afraid if I did complain about this now that I could risk losing my service connection? My back is in very poor condition from the service. In fact, I was on light duty when I separated because of a back injury I sustained a few months prior to my separation. I do have copies of my STR's and I have numerous complaints of back pain throughout my many years in that nothing was done about as they were just complaints noted, and I do not have the STR from the back injury. I was sent to medical and they shot something into my back and I immediately felt relief but my back has not been the same ever since. My back issues are causing me an excessive amount of lost time at my current job. I just went to the VA at the end of last month as a walk-in because the pain was so much and they took x-rays and named FIVE things wrong with just my lower back. I am now waiting for the VA to send these x-rays to my civilian doctor to have a comprehensive MRI done at the local (non-VA) hospital and then I will go forward from there in deciding how to approach this. The VA doctor "just" said I have facet joint arthritis, but VA radiology noted five things wrong? My first question is how should I proceed with adding these conditions and/or getting an increase from 0%? Does anyone know what "chronic thoracic & lumbar strain" service connection covers? Is it just strains or does it encompass the whole lower and middle back and all associated conditions of these areas? My x-rays from the VA in August of this year report "superior plate wedging at T12, this is age-indeterminate and correlation with physical exam for symptoms of point tenderness would be beneficial (again, I was a walk-in at my local VA clinic that day and the doctor didn't have time to see me...). Multilevel anterior endplate spurring throughout the lumbar spine. Lower lumbar predominant facet anthropathy. Bony neural foraminal narrowing at L5-S1. Mild Vascular Calcification". This was all through x-rays so I am sure an MRI will show more...which I will have done soon. Should I even complain about this C&P doctor at this point almost 6 years later or would I risk losing the service connection? I need to know what they have on my back at the VA that caused the service connection, I do know this. I do not have a copy of the record of my back injury from right before I got out and I am thinking/hoping that they do, but I will not know until I get the C-File. I need my C-File (I know, I should have requested it long ago...I am learning). My main question is, can I request a copy of my C-File while I have an open appeal (on other first year out of service claims -- open since 11/2019) and I also just put in for two new claims at the beginning of this month that are moving fairly quickly. I have heard that requesting your C-File can cause delays and possibly affect open claims and appeals you have on-going...and I of course do not want to cause any kind of a delay. Since my separation I have only filed my initial first year claims and I filed appeal on some of those denials. I have waited all of these years and not done anything more because I was under the presumption that you cannot file any new claims until the appeal is processed and closed. I did though just file two new claims this month once I was informed that presumption was wrong. Lastly, does anyone have any recommendations in how I should proceed with all of these new back findings (and also what becomes of the MRI in a couple of weeks) with regard to my already service connected chronic thoracic & lumbar strain -- due to morbid obesity(!!). New and material evidence to reopen? New individual/separate claims? File for an increase in rating? Secondary's? Or, should I wait until I have my C-File to see what they are basing the back service connection off of? Also, shouldn't thoracic and lumbar be two different conditions/disabilities? Sorry this is an overwhelming amount of information; I am so overwhelmed and discouraged by this whole process...and pushing through constant pain to boot. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
  2. Has anyone ever heard of any of these three codes being given separate ratings? I realize these are all rated by the range of motion, with the only exception being IDS, which can be rated by how many times you are placed on bed rest (incapacitating episodes). I'm getting a lot of conflicting information about this, as some people seem to think there are special circumstances which the VA will separate at least some of these out. But, no one can explain what those circumstances would be. 1. thoracolumbar strain (5237) http://www.militarydisabilitymadeeasy.com/thespine.html 2. intervertebral disc syndrome (5243) 3. ankylosing spondylitis (5243) 4. degenerative arthritis (5003) http://www.militarydisabilitymadeeasy.com/diseasesofthemusculoskeletalsystem.html#a ^^ This is in my spine but obviously not enough to be coded 5242, degenerative arthritis of the spine
  3. Why might a veteran never have gotten the decision letter on a reversal on a claim that had been denied on service connection on PTSD?
  4. Can anyone make anything out of these... Is this Auto 10% in PFT? What does dorcel de change come with? Results:. Pulmonary hyperinflation is demonstrated. Mild degenerative change is seen involving the dorcel spine. Uric acid 9.3 Pft: pre bronc:. Fvc71,fev1 71,fev1/fvc 99
  5. I filed for an increase recently to my 40% rating. In August 2009 my rating was increased from 20% (awarded in 1994) to 1) ankylosing spondylitis /spine thoracolumbar 20%, 2) ankylosing spondylitis/knee 10% 3) ankylosing spondylitis/cervical spine 10%. Since then my range of motion has gotten worse and I have been prescribed prednisone and two years ago Humira. They had rated me under arthritis and range of motion. I went for a C&P in May and saw my new rating on Eben: 1) NEW: (dated 4/27/18) ankylosing spondylitis /spine thoracolumbar spine 10%, 2) UNCHANGED ankylosing spondylitis/knee 10% 3) NEW (dated 5/21/17) ankylosing spondylitis/cervical spine 30%. I filed my intent to file in 4/2017. I haven't received the notification or documents in the mail yet but I am confused, my thoracolumbar spine is worse than in 2009 with worse range of motion. The VA has no way to determine it improved, from the arthritis aspect the joints do not get better and for ankylosing spondylitis I was prescribed Humira which is a step up from prednisone. There was nothing to indicate I improved. Also I have been told by some my rating is bad because they failed to rate the ankylosing spondylitis as an active disease in addition to the general range of motion for arthritis.
  6. Hi Folks Had a C&P for lower back injury related to MST in 1975. C&P examiner a PHD/PA with an impressive resume also retired Rear Admiral filed his report less likely than not a couple of weeks ago. The report was full of misspellings, information discrepancies and a lie or two! This gentleman had me on the wrong ship, took very poor notes and many of the doctors I've seen as well as dates & times totally wrong. He tried to dispute my IMO from Dr David Anaise by saying I never told Dr Anaise I had a motorcycle accident after my separation from the Navy, that was an outright lie and I had the proof in emails that in fact I did tell Dr Anaise about the motorcycle accident. It's clearly obvious this PA pencil whipped this report and hit send, does anyone think my IMO will carry more weight than this sloppy inadequate C&P report? I have uploaded a rebuttal to my ebenny case file. Thanks Rob
  7. Hello all. This is my first post but I have been lurking for a while and appreciate all the great advice from this network. I received a copy of my C&P exams and was hoping for opinions on my spine ROM measurements. The examiner indicated my forward flexion ends at 60 degrees with pain at 40 degrees. On the section marked "Is there functional impact of ability to work?" he marked <YES> stating "The impact of the thorocolumbar spine condition on the claimants ability to work is moderate impairment for physical work and mild for sedentary work". In the remarks section he indicated "There are contributing factors of pain, weakness, fatigability, and/or incoordination and there is additional limitation of functional ability of the thoracolumbar spine during flare-ups or repeated use over time. The degree of ROM loss during pain on use or flare-ups is approximately 20 degrees for flexion, 10 degree thorocolumbar extension and all other directions". I guess my question is, will examiners read all the remarks on these exams and use the ROM in the remarks section? Or will they use the data in the 'initial range of motion' section? I'm not sure why the doc indicated 20 degree forward flexion in the remarks section but marked it differently on the 'initial range of motion'. I realize I won't know how it's read until I get my final rating but just wanted to see if anyone else has had prior experience with this type of issue. Additional info: I've have three other ROMs (one from the VA and two from the military docs), I submitted with my claim so hopefully those will help my case (they were all under 30 degrees for forward flexion). Thanks :) - Julie
  8. "Hi, my name is DeadPlug. I have been a long time follower of this website and this is my first post." HI DEAD PLUG! "Thanks! My problem has been in gaining timely care, or.. care in general from the V.A." *Grumbling ensues* "I know I know. They are monsters. Here we go:" January 2006 Joined U.S. Army Infantry, 11B (19 years old) – Private. May 2006 Korea, Camp Casey (Light Infantry/Bradley Operator) (A snippet of my training) http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=cd3_1407015733 May 2007 Texas (FOUO: Ops Asst.) October 2007 Hemorrhoid problems begin in military (Documented with multiple occurrences) May 2009 Discharged from Active Duty – Specialist Rank August 2009 REFRAD for Active Duty – Released with: Spondylolisthesis, Spondylosis, and Degenerative Disc Disease. Med boarded sort of. December 2009 Filed for eligibility with VA February 2010 VA Denial (The first of many) May 2011 Surgery: Hemorrhoid (Private) September 2011 Back Adjustments (Chiropractor) until October 2011 November 2011 Joined Army Reserves (Ops Asst. again) January 2012 Went to VA: Back Pain March 2012 Went to VA: Back Pain said to be “Psychosomatic” (documented). Treatment offered: MRI 6 months away. (Machines were broke they said) May 2012 Ongoing back pain - Private MRI: Degenerative Disc Disease, Moderate narrowing May 2012 Electrical stimulation, lumbar Injections & epidural fluoroscopies until July 2012 August 2012 Surgery: Lumbar Fusion, L4, L5, S1 (Private) September 2012 Physical therapy 3x a week until Oct. 2012 (Aged off insurance/Uninsured/Reliant on military). October 2012 Went to VA: Back Pain. January 2013 Difficulty walking, pain. June 2013 Surgery: Hemorrhoid (Private). Discharged from Reserves – Specialist Rank July 2013 First meet with VA Rehab August 2013 Surgery: Hemorrhoid Private) August 2013 Very first VA Rehab for back and walking problems… August 2013 Unable to receive pain management (unaffordable/uninsured) September 2013 DO Neuro-musculoskeletal (Private): Adjustments on a regular basis. September 2013 VA Outreach; Mental Health. Complaints. Intervention by Law Enforcement October 2013 Surgery: Hemorrhoid (Private) January 2014 Rehab (Private) until March 2014 (26 years old) January 2014 Appealed VA Denial (12-18 months to wait for another denial) April 2014 Surgery: Hemorrhoid (Private) ^^Some doozies I know. Let me elaborate on any that you'd like. Anything with “Private” means my parents had to pay out of pocket…. The Doctor I used will be revealed when the question is posed "Did your doc just do a surgery for the money?" He's very reputable. I have not worked any jobs other than Military since May 2009. I am UNDER weight and I eat as much as possible. I am 27 years old and I round out to 150 pounds at 6’1”. (Almost below my min. body weight again) I left the military in 2009 at 210 pounds. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Definitions: Spinal Fusion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WID1p_UJZIM Degenerative Disc Disease http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_5U7skcQeM Spondylolisthesis http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlJM2kLGwUI Spondylolysis http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=du8Ch38mP54 Lumbar Pedicle Screw Surgery http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZ6XpGzuvg8 Sciatica http://www.spine-health.com/video/sciatica-interactive-video ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ I understand I have made many mistakes in this process. Where people say "mistake" I hear "got reamed" so we may need to agree to disagree on the terminology throughout. I posted pictures to help substantiate my claims. I have done my very best at concealing the real sensitive data. I could care less if my name gets known. I just want this issue solved (I have a baby on the way and I am tired of going the direction of useless dead beat. I need an education but school means I need therapy first. Something that has become a burden on my entire family. It is financially and physically time consuming for everyone involved.) The military has released me for medical, re-enlisted me (*cough* high ASVAB scores *cough*) and then threw me out on my ass again. I hope they realize my back is broken, not my brain... Also, my grades in school went from "Being on probation" to "Deans List" and an A.A. thanks to one magical (illicit) medicine. Take a guess... Having an issue with images. I will figure it out soon. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 2009Feb17 http://picoolio.net/images/2014/08/04/2009Feb17VADenial.png 2009Oct09 http://picoolio.net/images/2014/08/04/2009Oct09MedicalRecord.png 2009Oct15 http://picoolio.net/images/2014/08/04/2009Oct15CATscan.png 2009Oct23 http://picoolio.net/images/2014/08/04/2009Oct23MedBoard.png 2009Oct23 http://picoolio.net/images/2014/08/04/2009Oct23MedicalRecord.png 2009Oct27 http://picoolio.net/images/2014/08/04/2009Oct27Orders.png 2009Oct27 http://picoolio.net/images/2014/08/04/2009Oct27P.1.png 2009Oct27 http://picoolio.net/images/2014/08/04/2009Oct27P.2.png ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 2010Feb10 http://picoolio.net/images/2014/08/04/2010Feb10VADenial.png ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 2012December17 http://picoolio.net/images/2014/08/04/2012December17PerroneMedsVAmedsseperate.png 2012July19 http://picoolio.net/images/2014/08/04/2012July19ReservesLOD.png ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 2013May05 http://picoolio.net/images/2014/08/04/2013May05NeuroDoc.png 2013June26 http://picoolio.net/images/2014/08/04/2013June26JCornynvsVA.png 2013July03 http://picoolio.net/images/2014/08/04/2013July03VADenial.png 2013Aug04 http://picoolio.net/images/2014/08/04/EverettWayne_A_P_L_P_Standing.00014C19.jpg ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ (Extra Data) Grades http://picoolio.net/images/2014/08/04/Grades.png Some of my Vaccines http://picoolio.net/images/2014/08/04/Vaccines.png Found letter by my mother, Page 1: http://picoolio.net/images/2014/08/04/MotherPg1.png Page 2 of letter: http://picoolio.net/images/2014/08/04/MotherPg2.png
  9. Greetings to All, In 2010 I injured my lower back from lifting. I am currently SC 30%, 10% of that is for lumbar degenerative disc disease with intermittent radicular symptoms, I was awarded the service connection about 2 yrs ago. In the past 4 months my leg/nerve pain has gotten significantly worse. It has started bothering in more and more places, not just my legs. The location of the bulging disc has become more painful, with sensitivity in other areas of the spine. With all that said, I got a civilian referral for a Spine Dr. During the visit he looked at my new MRI and said that I had arthritis in my spine, "beefy joints"-his words. He said the combination of the bulging disc and the arthritis was causing all my issues. It explains a lot about how I feel, in the morning, etc.. I am only 33 years old and still work full time, but I can easily imagine how my medical issues could put me out. I am trying to figure out if I should file and what to file for, it looks like there are a ton of codes out there associated with the back? Arthritis? DDD? Hip issues? Depression? They could all be applicable in my mind. The only nexus would be from the original claim or IMO if needed. I know I need to have me ducks in a row before starting this process again. Not sure if it should be filed separately from the initial injury or as a condition that has gotten worse? Any input would be greatly appreciated. -moose-
  10. I finally got a copy of my C&P exam and I am trying to interpret the results. I'm hoping to get some help understanding what I'm looking at so any and all feedback is appreciated. The ROM results are as follows; Cervical Spine ROM Flexion: 0 to 30 degrees. Extension: 0 to 39 degrees. Left Lateral Flexion: 0 to 30 degrees. Left Lateral Rotation: 0 to 60 degrees. Right Lateral Flexion: 0 to 30 degrees. Right Lateral Rotation: 0 to 60 degrees. Is there objective evidence of pain on active ROM? No. Additional limitation with repetitive motion; Is there objective evidence of pain following repetitive motion? No. Are there additional limitations after three repetitions of range of motion? No. Thoracolumbar Spine ROM Flexion: 0 to 60 degrees. Extension: 0 to 20 degrees. Left Lateral Flexion: 0 to 20 degrees. Left Lateral Rotation: 0 to 20 degrees. Right Lateral Flexion: 0 to 25 degrees. Right Lateral Rotation: 0 to 20 degrees. Is there objective evidence of pain on active ROM? Yes. Additional limitation with repetitive motion; Is there objective evidence of pain following repetitive motion? Yes. Are there additional limitations after three repetitions of range of motion? Yes. What is the most important factor? Pain. ROM After Repetitive Motion Flexion: 0 to 55 degrees. Extension: 0 to 25 degrees. Left Lateral Flexion: 0 to 15 degrees. Left Lateral Rotation: 0 to 5 degrees. Right Lateral Flexion: 0 to 20 degrees. Right Lateral Rotation: 0 to 5 degrees. Time lost from work during last 12-month period: 8 weeks. Cause: Con leave from back surgery. I didn't type every last word, I just wrote what I think matters. If I missed something or you have a question, please ask. The information regarding my cervical spine seems correct as I haven't had any issues with that part of my back until just recently. I'm getting epidural shots now and may need another surgery but that occurred after the C&P exam. If I'm reading the Thoracolumbar part correct, it seems that I should get a rating of 20% based on the Flexion ROM of 55 degrees or would it be; "Unfavorable ankylosis of the entire thoracolumbar spine......50?" But, since I had spinal fusion of T7-T8, I should get 60% because I missed 8 weeks of work and the VASRD states; "With incapacitating episodes having a total duration of at least 6 weeks during the past 12 months ..... 60" It seems quite confusing to me, I hope someone can clear things up for me...thanks.
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