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Denied Increase For Feet Based On Non Sc Feet Problems


dav_marine72
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  • HadIt.com Elder

Question for everyone,

I am service connected for right and left 3rd metatarsal fractures which occurred in boot camp and then Marine Combat Training respectively. I got out of the Marines 11/12/95.

Initially in 1996 I received 10% for right and 0% for left. This was based on more complaints of right foot pain. Just to give a little history in 2000 I was service connected for three levels of DDD, post discectomy and laminectomy. The VA examiner in 2000 was asked by the RO if it was possible that my back condition was either direct service connection or secondary to my in service connected fractures of my feet. He stated that he thought it was directly connected and secondary to my SC feet based on the way I would try not to bear weight on the sc fractured metatarsals causing me to re-distribute the weight bearing up to my back.

So I asked for an increase of both feet at the same time I asked for connection of my back in 2000. The back was connected but my feet were denied. I had a hearing with a DRO and explained that my feet were perfect prior to the Marines and after I got out I had Pes cavus, pain all the time, etc. When I was going after my back I had a Podiatrist write a letter stating my aquired Pes cavus possibly caused my back problem. As stated below the VA exaiminer basically agreed. Here is the kicker. When I explained the daignosis of Pes Cavus, unforgiveing feet, etc. to the DRO she stated I would need a VA or civlan Podiatrist to state this was due to my service connected fractures or service time. She denied me an increase based on the fact that all my VA and civilan records since 96 had documented a variety of feet problems none were related to what she called my toe problems. She quoted a May 1997 diagnosis from a private prodiatrist of pes Cavus feet with neuritis secondary to compression from "unforgiving feet". That same doctor also gave me steriod shots for what he was calling possible tarsal tunnel syndrome related to my Pes Cavus feet in 2000 and 2001. She stated this was all not related to my sc feet.

Well now that I am going back through all of medical evidence for my BVA reconsideration for my back and my mind is clearer I realized the VAMC diagnosed aquired Pes Cavus on a 06/14/96 Podiatry appointment. That would be less than a year after service. The exam showed anterior cavus, psuedo-equinus, and the xray showed high metatarsal declination angle, evidence of 3rd metatarsal shaft, mild FF adductus. This was my first visit to VA podiatry to complain about my feet since service.

Now the Pes Cavus, etc. started after the fractures. I have a MEPS exam showing perfectly normal feet before I went in. This case is going back to the BVA. Do I try to say it is all related to my fractures like I have been or go to the RO for service connection of bilateral Pes Cavus?

I am posting back exam 00, feet exam 01, and DRO decision on feet.

Feet_Post.pdf

DRO_Feet_1.bmp

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dav/listen to what the dro said,you need a private Individual medical opinion (IMO)to state that your disability is due to,or likely,as least as likely as not cause by your military service.Anyone of those three statements by a IMO will probably get you over.These terms is what the rater want to see or hear from a medical professional.

mobie16r

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Thanks for your comment. I understand what you are saying about an IMO. My point is based on a presumptive service connection. I'll have to go back into my SMRs to see if Pes Cavus was diagnosed or not. However I have three appointments to a VAMC Podiatry for pain in my feet based on the two fractures in service. All three diagnosed Pes Cavus including by X-RAY. That was within the one year limit after service. I've already spent $3000 on Bash and haven't seen a penny yet.

Presumptive service-connection is concerned, a veteran needs to be able to show that a condition listed in §3.307, §3.308, and §3.309 has manifested itself within the prescribed time limits after separation from the service. A presumptive condition does not need to be noted in a veteran’s SMR’s, hence presumptive, or it’s presumed that the said disability/disease occurred while in the service. There are some presumptive disabilities that do need to have manifested themselves within the first year after separation and to degree of 10% disabling in order to warrant presumptive service-connection. One common one is Arthritis.

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