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Lower Back Injury....and Assorted Stuff

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StreetWalker

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Still waiting to hear from the VA on my reopened claim. But I'd like to get an idea of what to expect.

Had back surgery at the Naval hospital on Okinawa back in 1979. Was rated at 10% by the Marines. VA rated me at 20% in 1980.

Fast forward to now.

Daily muscle spasms. Constant pain in lower back and radiating down both legs and buttocks. Left leg is around 25% weaker than right leg. Left leg is noticeably smaller than right leg. Range of motion is very limited. Bending correctly, not using hips, I can barely bend forward at all. I can't stand on my tip toes for more than a couple of seconds. Can't walk on my heels. Reflexes in left leg are muted. Can't balance on left leg without support. I'm missing around 25-30 days of work per year.

Now due to 30 years of medication for the back my stomach is shredded. Heartburn constantly, reflux almost daily. I get reflux at night and a couple of times a month I aspirate the reflux.

The reopened claim is for the stomach problems and an increase in the rating for my back.

As soon as this claim is settled I will be filing for depression. For years I've been trying to "man up" and ignore the depression but it's gotten to the point where I can't hide/ignore it anymore. My wife has told me to get treatment or else.

So the question for all of you with lower back problems is what do you think I should be rated at?

The kicker is I have a walking route delivering mail. I pretty much just suck it up and pop pills to get the route done every day that I can. Is this "active" job going to hurt me when it comes to my rating?

Member of the Church of the Enlighten Pistolero.

I may be out-manned but I'll never be outgunned.

Shoot to stop the threat or till the magazine is empty.

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So the question for all of you with lower back problems is what do you think I should be rated at?

The proper answer is it will depend on your range of motion or how many days your doctor prescribed bed rest. Sounds like you may also have nerve inpingement which is also rated seperately. Is the job going to hurt you when it comes to the rating.. in my opinion yes. In 1998, I quit my job at the post office because of simulair issues. It was my dream job after I retired from the Army and took me almost two years to get it. I quit after 3 months, I was a rural route carrier and loved being outdoors but my health was more important. See the ratings below and best of luck.

General Rating Formula for Diseases and Injuries of the Spine (For diagnostic codes 5235 to 5243 unless 5243 is evaluated under the Formula for Rating Intervertebral Disc Syndrome Based on Incapacitating Episodes): With or without symptoms such as pain (whther or not it radiates), stiffness, or aching in the area of the spine affected by residuals of injury or disease Unfavorable ankylosis of the entire spine 100 Unfavorable ankylosis of the entire thoracolumbar spine 50 Unfavorable ankylosis of the entire cervical spine; or, forward flexion of the thoracolumbar spine 30 degrees or less; or, favorable ankylosis of the entire thoracolumbar spine 40 Forward flexion of the cervical spine 15 degrees or less; or, favorable ankylosis of the entire cervical spine 30 Forward flexion of the thoracolumbar spine greater than 30 degrees but not greater than 60 degrees; or, forward flexion of the cervical spine greater than 15 degrees but not greater than 30 degrees; or, the combined range of motion of the thoracolumbar spine not greater than 120 degrees; or, the combined range of motion of the cervical spine not greater than 170 degrees; or, muscle spasm or guarding severe enough to result in an abnormal gait or abnormal spinal contour such as scoliosis, reversed lordosis, or abnormal kyphosis 20 Forward flexion of the thoracolumbar spine greater than 60 degrees but not greater than 85 degrees; or, forward flexion of the cervical spine greater than 30 degrees but not greater than 40 degrees; or, combined range of motion of the thoracolumbar spine greater than 120 degrees but not greater than 235 degrees; or, combined range of motion of the cervical spine greater than 170 degrees but not greater than 335 degrees; or, muscle spasm, guarding, or localized tenderness not resulting in abnormal gait or abnormal spinal contour; or, vertebral body fracture with loss of 50 percent or more of the height 10

Formula for Rating Intervertebral Disc Syndrome Based on Incapacitating Episodes With incapacitating episodes having a total duration of at least 6 weeks during the past 12 months 60 With incapacitating episodes having a total duration of at least 4 weeks but less than 6 weeks during the past 12 months 40 With incapacitating episodes having a total duration of at least 2 weeks but less than 4 weeks during the past 12 months 20 With incapacitating episodes having a total duration of at least one week but less than 2 weeks during the past 12 months 10 Note(1): For purposes of evaluations under diagnostic code 5243, an incapacitating episode is a period of acute signs and symptoms due to intervertebral disc syndrome that requires bed rest prescribed by a physician and treatment by a physician. Note(2): If intervertebral disc syndrome is present in more than one spinal segment, provided that the effects in each spinal segment are clearly distinct, evaluate each segment on the basis of incapacitating episodes or under the General Rating Formula for Diseases and Injuries of the Spine, whichever method results in a higher evaluation for that segment.

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Range of motion is almost nil.

Bed rest may be the problem.

When it's bad I just stay home. I've not had a doctor actually prescribe bed rest.

Member of the Church of the Enlighten Pistolero.

I may be out-manned but I'll never be outgunned.

Shoot to stop the threat or till the magazine is empty.

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Hmm.... no one ever told me that nerve impingement should be rated separately. Going to have to look into that. May have to file a claim for that and depression as soon as this claim comes through.

Member of the Church of the Enlighten Pistolero.

I may be out-manned but I'll never be outgunned.

Shoot to stop the threat or till the magazine is empty.

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Another question.

Several years ago my VA doc diagnosed me with Degenerative Disc Disease and osteo arthritis in my lower back. I'm not sure that my current compensation reflects this. I'll have to see what the new claim shows.

Since I can't get into eBenefits at all I guess I'll just have to wait.

I'm guessing that a higher rating is easier if you have been diagnosed with DDD instead of a common back injury.

Member of the Church of the Enlighten Pistolero.

I may be out-manned but I'll never be outgunned.

Shoot to stop the threat or till the magazine is empty.

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it is all rated the same. based on the criteria already posted.

my c&p doctor told me to only go as far as I could without pain on ROM. he was physically holding me so I didn;t go too far. I was surprised because I heard stories on here of the exact opposite, I got a copy of his notes and he was very good.

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ey

it is all rated the same. based on the criteria already posted.

my c&p doctor told me to only go as far as I could without pain on ROM. he was physically holding me so I didn;t go too far. I was surprised because I heard stories on here of the exact opposite, I got a copy of his notes and he was very good.

You had a human examiner. Most of them seem like they could care less. I will say that at my last C&P exam the doctor did help support me during some parts of the exam. He was also nice enough to hand me my shoes when the exam was over. Contrast that with the wicked witch who did my C&P for the GERD. She had an attitude that I was there trying to rip off the Government. Questioned why I was taking the medications I'm taking currently and have taken in the past.As most of us know once the pain reaches a certain level we'll do anything to reduce it.

Member of the Church of the Enlighten Pistolero.

I may be out-manned but I'll never be outgunned.

Shoot to stop the threat or till the magazine is empty.

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