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ArtilleryApex

Secondary Injury caused by VA Surgery?

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Hey everyone,

First post!

I have a shoulder injury I claimed and is service connected. I had 3 surgeries and one was a big reconstructive surgery that required the VA to harvest my hamstring and graft into my shoulder. The incision is on the front of my leg about 2 inches long down next to my shin bones. Funny thing is my shin hurt worse than the shoulder. After about 3 years of recovery there is a large section of the front of my leg that is completely numb and I frequently get shin splints from just walking. Since this is related to a service connected surgery is there any claim on this type of thing? Never really thought about it until the Dr who was evaluating my shoulder mentioned it. 

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Well, yes.  As always, with secondary conditions, you need "2 Caluza elements".  

You will need a "current diagnosis" of the secondary condtion, as well as a nexus relating it to the surgery on the SC condition.   You wont need the "3rd Caluza element" of an in service event, because that is already established with the primary condition.  

Go ahead and apply, and get your medical records.  You "may" need an IMO to document this unless its already included in your file.  

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19 hours ago, broncovet said:

Well, yes.  As always, with secondary conditions, you need "2 Caluza elements".  

You will need a "current diagnosis" of the secondary condtion, as well as a nexus relating it to the surgery on the SC condition.   You wont need the "3rd Caluza element" of an in service event, because that is already established with the primary condition.  

Go ahead and apply, and get your medical records.  You "may" need an IMO to document this unless its already included in your file.  

Hey Broncovet,

Thanks for responding. I definitely will pursue. I guess my next question is what exactly should I specify is the claim? Would it be splints or perhaps the loss of feeling and constant tingling? Or should I just go to the eval and tell them what is going on and they will decide? I feel like if I go in with an exact list of every terminology it might look weird rather than winging it. Any advice is appreciated.

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Im a big fan of telling VA "as little as possible" to get your benefits.  I dont suggest you try practicing medicine, or self diagnosis.  Let the doc diagnose you, different docs can have different diagnosis, they wont accept "YOUR" diagnosis anyway, ever, unless maybe you are a physican.  Dont try to narrow it down too much:  Dont say, "I have a lateral medial meniscus tear".  Instead, say, "My knee hurts".  Or "knee condition" including pain traveling up and down my legs, also making my back and feet hurt, too.  The va says the Veteran can "point to the affected body part".  If you tell them its a laterel medial meniscus tear, your doc could diagnose you with something else, and that could delay your benefits.  I like:

"I have knee, feet and back pain, and would like to apply for benefits that a doctor (will or did) so diagnose."   

Include scars, if applicable, as well as loss of ROM if applicable.  Again, if you try to be TOO specific, a doctor may not agree with your diagnosis, and you could be denied.  Dont go there!  

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Yes - claim the scars- great point Broncovet!

You could file as secondary or under Section 1151 , 38 USC.( or both ways)

Lots here in the 1151 -FTCA forum.

1151claims claim require two main things:

1. Proof of VA negligence that caused additional ratable disability and 

2. proof of the additional ratable disability.

These claims almost always require an Independent Medical Opinion as well, with a full medical rationale that cites the VA med recs, and the ngligence that casued the additional disability.

VA often rates 1151 issues as a secondary issue. That seems to me to be against OGC Pres Op 08-97, which I am fighting over currently.

I believe the VA has snookered many vets out of "all" 1151 compensation.

I am posting the link to the opinion in our 1151 forum.

 

 

 

 

 

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