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L4-l5 Diskectomy

81150 CAFB


First, great to find this site.

My question is regarding my back. In 1989, while in the USAF (1987-1991), I had an L4-L5 diskectomy (right side) and 20 years later I am currently recovering post-op for a micro-laminectomy/diskectomy on the left side along with removal of a bone spur...the imaging (MRI, myleogram w/ C-T scan) also showed additional protrusion on the right at L4-L5 but 90% of my pain (sciatica, numbness, tingling) is on the left along with back muscle spasms. I never filed for a claim when I was discharged in 1991 (why? no idea I guess something you really don't think about when you are 22 and no guidance). Do I have a chance for a claim? I really haven't missed much work or have seen the doctor for my back in the last 20 years, since it was something you live with until about 4 months ago when the pain became severe and familiar except on the left side this time. Do they rate you on how you are feeling now or do they look at the surgeries as an indication of degeneration? Should I wait to see how this surgery effects me i.e does the sciatica pain go away etc...? I am certain the two herniated disks are related and can be easily, I would think, service connected. Additionally, I had a broken bone removed in my left foot about 5 years ago. I am constantly running into things and ended up breaking a small bone in my left foot that would not heal and had to be removed. Could this be related to my back (balance-gait-foot drop-atrophy)?

After reading some of the back pain/spine posts and repository, I'll admit that I am still confused about what compensation I would be entilted to.

Any help would be appriciated.

Edited by 81150 CAFB (see edit history)
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Should I just fill out VA Form 21-526, send in the medical records and simply apply for compensation to get the process started? I am sorry for the stupid question, but what happens then? If look at the VA website, they make it sound simple. After reading some posts on this site, I it is anything but simple.


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