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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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  • Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation:   

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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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RBrogen

Opinion on Rating

Question

Posted (edited)

Hello Everyone,

I wanted to gut check my rating for my neck which I just had double laminectomy (c4/c5)

Rating was

   10% cervical spine degenerative disc disease with spinal stenosis and intervertebral disc syndrome

   20% radiculopathy left upper extremity

   20% raiculopathy right upper extremity

 

Here was my MRI: 

There is mild retrolisthesis of C3 on C4 and C4 and C5. Trace anterolisthesis of C5 on C6. Straightening of the cervical lordosis. Vertebral body height is preserved. There is no suspicious focal marrow replacing lesion. BROGEN, RANDY CONFIDENTIAL Page 4 of 6 There is intramedullary spinal cord signal abnormality seen at the C4 and C5 levels, consistent with myelomalacia, and progressed from the previous MRI. There is no evidence of syringohydromyelia. The visualized portions of the brain are unremarkable. The paraspinal soft tissues are unremarkable. Mild enlarged lateral level IIa lymph nodes are noted, nonspecific, and measuring up to 1.7 cm on the left.

SIGNIFICANT FINDINGS BY LEVEL:

C2-C3: No significant posterior disc abnormality. Mild, left greater than facet hypertrophy. Mild uncovertebral hypertrophy. Ligamentum flavum thickening. Minimal spinal canal stenosis. Mild left neural foraminal stenosis.

C3-C4: Posterior disc osteophyte complex. Mild bilateral facet and uncovertebral hypertrophy. Mild to moderate spinal canal stenosis with mild flattening of spinal cord. Mild bilateral neural foraminal stenosis, slightly worse on the left.

C4-C5: Posterior disc osteophyte complex. Mild to moderate bilateral facet and uncovertebral protrusion. Moderate to severe spinal canal stenosis with flattening of spinal cord. Moderate right and severe left neural foraminal stenosis.

C5-C6: Posterior disc osteophyte complex. Mild facet and uncovertebral hypertrophy. Mild to moderate spinal canal stenosis with slight flattening of the spinal cord. Mild right neural foraminal stenosis.

C6-C7: Posterior disc osteophyte complex. Moderate uncovertebral and mild facet hypertrophy. Mild spinal canal stenosis. Mild to moderate bilateral neural foraminal stenosis.

C7-T1: No significant posterior disc abnormality. No significant spinal canal or neural foraminal stenosis.

Conclusion: 1. Multilevel degenerative changes of the cervical spine as above, most pronounced at C4-5. 2. Intramedullary spinal cord signal abnormality seen at the C4 and C5 levels, consistent with myelomalacia and mildly progressed from the prior MRI. There is no evidence of syringohydromyelia. 3. Mildly enlarged bilateral level II cervical lymph nodes, nonspecific. Clinical correlation suggested

Edited by RBrogen

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You posted:

Quote

Conclusion: 1. Multilevel degenerative changes of the cervical spine as above, most pronounced at C4-5

Its been my experience the term "degenerative" is a poison to claims.  This means "age related", where we need an opinion that its etiology is "service connected" not "age related".  

This said, this sounds like a claim for increase?  You see, once service connected always SC UNLESS VA succeeds is severance of service connection.  

If you get degenerative changes from a SC condition, this is normal.  

For example, I fractured my leg in service, and, years later, my orthopedic doc said "I have degenerative" arthritis of the knee.  

Its not uncommon for degenerative condtions to result from an in service injury.  

Its even likely for an old injury to get degenerative arthritis in that joint.  

I dont have a good opinion on the percent level, which it sounds like what you are looking for.  These vary on symptoms, and this report does not note symptoms.  

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16 minutes ago, broncovet said:

You posted:

Its been my experience the term "degenerative" is a poison to claims.  This means "age related", where we need an opinion that its etiology is "service connected" not "age related".  

This said, this sounds like a claim for increase?  You see, once service connected always SC UNLESS VA succeeds is severance of service connection.  

If you get degenerative changes from a SC condition, this is normal.  

For example, I fractured my leg in service, and, years later, my orthopedic doc said "I have degenerative" arthritis of the knee.  

Its not uncommon for degenerative condtions to result from an in service injury.  

Its even likely for an old injury to get degenerative arthritis in that joint.  

I dont have a good opinion on the percent level, which it sounds like what you are looking for.  These vary on symptoms, and this report does not note symptoms.  

This was actually a new claim ... I originally had claim for lumbosacral strain and then they found that I had broken my neck in service as well.

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Well, then the VA felt you had the Caluza elements documented and you were awarded SC for it.  Congratulations.  

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19 hours ago, RBrogen said:

I had broken my neck in service

 Did you not know this?

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Whoa!!!

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