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Rating Advice Needed - Compression Fractures, Ddd, Osteoarthritis, Etc.



I'm new to the board so if I'm posting this in the wrong area, just point me in the right direction.

I received a med board for compression fractures at T6, T7 & T8 back in 2006. After I got out I filed my claim and got 10% for the compression fractures. Since then I have had progressively more back pain so last month I went to the VFW State Service Officer to appeal my claim. I went to a Dr. (not VA) who ordered X-Rays of my back (see below for findings). He then filled out the VA forms for my back (see below for findings) and referred me for an MRI (see below for findings). My question is, in peoples experience, what are they going to try and lump together and what is going to be separate when they calculate ratings? The paperwork has been submitted to the VA, now the waiting game begins. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Paperwork Information:

Diagnosis associated with claimed condition- Mechanical back pain, Spondylolysis / Spondylolisthesis, Radiculopathy, Vertebrae Fracture, Sciatica.

Flare-Ups that Impact Function of Thoraclumbar- Limited activity and severe discomfort daily. Pain and numbness in left leg and arm. Left calf weakness.

Functional loss or Impairment of Thoraclumbar- Pain and numbness in the left leg and arm. Left calf weakness. Weakness in the left hand, 4th and 5th digits.

ROM- Forward Flexation - 30deg, 15deg for the remainder (extension, R & L Lateral, Rotation).

Do Any abnormal ROM's noted above contribute to functional Loss- Yes.

Guarding or Muscle Spasm of Throraclumbar- Yes.

Gait- Abnormal due to Muscle Spasm, Guarding, Left Calf Weakness.

Spinal Contour- Normal.

Contributing Factors of Disability- Less movement than normal, Weakened Movement, Excess fatigability, Incoordination, pain in movement, Interference with sitting and standing.

During Flair-Ups- Forward Flexation & Extension - 0deg, 15deg for the remainder (R & L Lateral, Rotation).

Contributing Factors of Disability NOT Associated with Limitation of Motion- Left calf and hand weakness affects disability as does the severe pain limiting activities.

Sensory Exam- decreased sensation in left forearm and 4th and 5th digits have numbness.

Radiculopathy- Lower left extremity: Moderate to Severe Constant Pain, at Times Excruciating.

Paresthesias- Lower left extremity: Moderate to Severe Constant Pain, at Times Excruciating.

Numbness- Lower left extremity: Moderate.

Nerve Roots Involved- Sciatic, Left

Percent of Loss of Vertebral Body Height- 10%-20%.

Functional Impact- Unable to sit or stand for prolonged periods. In most situations he cant sit for more an 30min or stand in place more than 10 minutes.

X-Ray Information:

Lumbar- Right-sided L5 Spondylolysis without Spondylolisthesis.

Thoracic- Stable compression injuries that are minimal in degree at T6, T7 &T8. Unchanged since original accident. Minimal DDD.

MRI Information:

Lumbar- Bilateral L5 spondylolysis with 203mm L5 on S1 spondylolistheses. Moderate L5-S1 DDD with rightward eccentric disk bulge and mild to moderate narrowing of the right sided neutral foramen.

Thoracic- Minimal to mild T5-T7 vertebral compression deformities. Mild T6-7, T7-8 DDD and Osteoarthritis.

Everyone still awake? Thanks again for reading, any info is welcome.


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