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    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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RIVER RAT

Trapezius Strain

Question

I recently had a comp and pen exam and for trapezius strain. The examiner performed the range of motion for the cervical spine becasue my flare ups affect my neck movement. How will a rater look at this? What diagnostic codes would they use?

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Well I got my rating 10% Service Connected for Trapezius strain and right shoulder impingement(minor). Should this be combined like this? They never considered the affects on my range of motion of my neck due to the trapezius strain only considered the painful motion of my shoulder/arm? The examiner wrote his opinion and findings and my lack of forward flexion and his estimate of loss of range of motion during flareups seems to match up with a 20% rating but this wasn't looked at? The rater wrote the word minor in the description of service connection but the examiner wrote that my conditions have a significant and moderate impact on my daily activities.

I think that I should have gotten atleast 20% for the trapezius strain and 10% for my shoulder impingement. but cannot figure out the 10% for both? Should I do a notice of disagreement, ask for a reconsideration? I have stated since my service time that my flare ups directly affect my neck.

The Department of Veterans Affairs General Rating Formula for Diseases and Injuries of the Spine states; Forward flexion of the cervical spine greater than 15 degrees but not greater than 30 degrees warrants a 20% rating.

“Although the Veteran is not claiming spinal pathology in and of itself,as he reported,Alteration neck movement is due to his trapezius strain, range of motion of the cervical spine was measured.There is no evidence of direct spinal or paraspinal tenderness in the cervical spine.No evidence of cervical spine ankylosis., Curvatures arenormal. Range of motion of the cervical spine in

degrees: Forward flexion0 to 30, extension 0 to40, right andleft lateral flexion 0 to 40,right and leftlateral rotation 0 to 60. There was no pain noted in the spineitself. However, with neck movements, there was increased pain notedin the upper right trapezius muscle, especiallywith movement that would stretch this muscle, left lateral flexion and right and left rotation maneuvers. Following three repetitions of range of motion of the cervical spine, there wereno changes in the above-notedmeasurements and no increase in trapezius pain or other pain noted.

“DELUCA VERSUS BROWNCERVICAL SPINE: “There is no direct suspicion for cervical spine pathhology. There wereno changes notedin cervical spinemotion following three repetitions. The Veteran does report, however, some limitation of ability to turn his neck during flare-ups of the trapezius strain. Based on thehistory and today's examination1 it would be feasible to expect that the Veteran could lose an additional 5-10 degrees of right and left lateralflexion and right andleft lateral rotation of the cervical spine during flare-ups of the right trapezius strainwhen these occurdue to pain and spasm.”

Edited by RIVER RAT

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Congratulations on the service connection, and the 10%. At least it gets your foot in the door, and has some compensation attached. Great start toward a higher rating.

Mark

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