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How Bout This

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Carl the Engineer

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So, spinning my wheels, waiting on my current claim to be rated, I re-read my VA medical records for the third time.

In the radiology report for my original claims C&P (11/2009) for HTN (hypertension) I read this;

HTN please note heart size

Heart size is normal. Thoracic aorta is dense and tortuous.

Diaphragmatic outlines are well defined. Lungs are clear.

Degenerative changes in the thoracic spine.

I took note at that last sentence because the VA recently took it upon themselves to SC my neck for DDD (a month ago), when I tried to have it seconded to my shoulder injury. The VA doc stated that my necks limited movement was not related to my shoulder, however, I had DDD of the neck, because of a x-ray and that it had to have occurred during active duty because what he saw could not have developed in the last two years. I was SC at a 20% rate for limited ROM.

I have and have had for a long time lower back pain at a mild to moderate level, however, never filed anything because I figured it was because I was getting older, etc.

I believe I could/should claim for DDD of the thoracic/lumbar spine (I read that they are rated together and separately from the cervical spine) because it would show DDD (arthritis) and it would have had to occur while in the service.

As a side note, the claim that I am waiting for was referred because my exam for and increase for tendenopathy for my right shoulder, the doc commented in his diagnosis arthritis in both shoulders (as least as likely). So, I know I have arthritis and can make that an issue with my back.

What do you think?

Hamslice

“There is no hook my friend. There's only what we do.”  Doc Holiday 

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I was told I would nto be able to get my cervical spine service connected as secondary to my lumber spine.

I went to the doc and got a letter stating that the DDD in my cervical spine was at least as likely as not caused by the DDD in my lumbar spine.

Service connection was granted at 10% for my cervical spine.

I am going to have my entire spine x-rayed for DDD. I have pain in the center of my back that is tender to the touch during an exam... If an xray shows DDD there, I am going to file on it.

If you are having low back pain, sounds like you need to also have your lumbar spine looked at.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I seem to recall reading somewhere that VA rates the entire spine at a minimum level rating of atleast 40 or 50% if DDD occurs in the entire spinal system.

I may be wrong about that... I am only rated at 10% lumbar and 10% cervical... I have more pain in my lumbar spine but I have VERY limmited range of motion in my neck.... I feel that the 10% is a lowball figure.

I am hopeful that if I can get my middle spine rated, perhaps my overall rating will increase. Overall rating for the spine that is.

In other words.... I believe that "if I read it right", even if that rate my middle spine at 10% also, it would not add up to 30% for my spine.. I think.. I THINK the rating is more like 40% - 50%, or mabey even 60% if the entire spine is affected by DDD.

I am going to try to go see several docs this summer to arm myself with letter to assist me with my next claims. Middle spine being one of them.

Good luck.

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I haven't read how they rate the entire spine for DDD. Will have to look that up.

However, like you, I think if you have DDD (arthritis) in two of your spine sections (cervical, thoracic, lumbar), you would have it in the third. I believe, if the x-ray shows it you get 10%, and then you get more for ROM. And I had thought that they combined the thoracic and lumbar together. Again, don't know about an entire spine rating?

Hamslice

“There is no hook my friend. There's only what we do.”  Doc Holiday 

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Ham.. I may be wrong about that. It's been a LONG TIME since I read it.

Let me know in this thread if you find anything on it abnd I will try to look it up also.

About getting more for ROM... I don't know about that... I guess it depends on how bad it is. I only have 10% each for lumbar and cervical.. Infact.... I have am service connected for 8 different issues. All of them at 10% each for a total of 60%.

I would ahve thought that my neck would qualify for a higher rating based on ROM but again, I only recived 60%.

Also... I don't think the middle spine will show much in the way of ROM.. Not like the neck and lower back would. I don't think the middle spine moves very much but again.. I could be wrong.

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sawgunner,

I have a hard time moving my neck to the right, and was rated 20% DDD because of limited ROM.

I would say after your last response (8 at 10% for 60%), that you were probably "low balled" on at least one if not more of your original claims. I was 4 at 10% the first go around.

Filed for a increase in one and 2 secondaries and got 20% each on the two secondaries and am still waiting on the increase. Which, from what I can tell will be a increase, just don't know how much.

So, if you think you were underrated on one or you have one that has gotten worse, file a claim for a increase. Of course it helps to go to the doctor first.

Hamslice

Also, from what I read so far, 2 things, ROM is the key to the ratings, and, MRI is preferred for showing DDD vs the x-ray.

I'll have to see my doc (I think she is a nurse practitioner) at the VA Clinic and see if she will schedule me for a spine MRI. Ha, ha...

“There is no hook my friend. There's only what we do.”  Doc Holiday 

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I have DDD of Cervical Spine. Just a note, most of my midback pain is actually cervical in nature. Nerve roots on facet joints aggravated at Cervical level causing muscle spasm referred pain to shoulders/Rhomboids. Where it hurts aint always where its injured

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  • HadIt.com Elder

So, spinning my wheels, waiting on my current claim to be rated, I re-read my VA medical records for the third time.

In the radiology report for my original claims C&P (11/2009) for HTN (hypertension) I read this;

HTN please note heart size

Heart size is normal. Thoracic aorta is dense and tortuous.

Diaphragmatic outlines are well defined. Lungs are clear.

Degenerative changes in the thoracic spine.

I took note at that last sentence because the VA recently took it upon themselves to SC my neck for DDD (a month ago), when I tried to have it seconded to my shoulder injury. The VA doc stated that my necks limited movement was not related to my shoulder, however, I had DDD of the neck, because of a x-ray and that it had to have occurred during active duty because what he saw could not have developed in the last two years. I was SC at a 20% rate for limited ROM.

I have and have had for a long time lower back pain at a mild to moderate level, however, never filed anything because I figured it was because I was getting older, etc.

I believe I could/should claim for DDD of the thoracic/lumbar spine (I read that they are rated together and separately from the cervical spine) because it would show DDD (arthritis) and it would have had to occur while in the service.

As a side note, the claim that I am waiting for was referred because my exam for and increase for tendenopathy for my right shoulder, the doc commented in his diagnosis arthritis in both shoulders (as least as likely). So, I know I have arthritis and can make that an issue with my back.

What do you think?

Hamslice

Your XRAY was a CXR or chest Xray. They were looking at the size of the heart.

You need a cervical MRI to show any changes to the Neck.

As far as a nexus involving the T spine to the C spine, You should research some BVA decisions on the issues.

J

A Veteran is a person who served this country. Treat them with respect.

A Disabled Veteran is a person who served this country and bears the scars of that service regardless of when or where they served.

Treat them with the upmost respect. I do. Rejection is not a sign of failure. Failure is not an option, Medical opinions and evidence wins claims. Trust in others is a virtue but you take the T out of Trust and you are left with Rust so be wise about who you are dealing with.

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