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5003 And Facet Joint Arthritis

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Under 5003, note 1 reads . . "cannot be combined with ratings based on limitation of motion.". Can someone please explain exactly what that means? I'm currently rated at 20% for DDD based on limitation of motion. I also have x-ray evidence of facet joint osteoarthritis. A Joint is not a Disc and they are not the same. Am I entitled to another 10% for the minor joint x-ray evidence OR does the "cannot be combined with ratings (my DDD is under 5242) based on limitation of motion" - play into this somehow?

Wouldn't they be separate ratings and not combined?

Thanks for any and all responses.

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NFI, but pyramiding comes to mind. As in the heart, you could have a few things wrong, that by themselves would be SC ratable. My understanding of the pyramiding reg, only the worst (1) gets counted. I think the same may apply to all joints other than the Knee.

Semper Fi

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I have 10% arthritis by x-ray and 10% impingement by MRI and 20% by ROM for my right shoulder. I get 20%.

I have 10% arthritis by x-ray and 10% impingement by MRI for my left shoulder. I get 10%.

I have 20% ROM for my right elbow secondary to my shoulder. I get 20%.

However, billateral for the three I get a little extra with the VA math.


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

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