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plantar fasciitis - no STR on file

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Hello - I was diagnosed with PF a year ago and I also currently have pes planus.  I've been to 2 podiatrists and explained my service history.  Background:

I've been in the service for 32 years (half active, half reserve).  I've been on 3 full year deployments (AFG and DJ) and on 2 med cruises.  When i enlisted in 90 my MEPS physical indicated normal arches but its obvious now I have flat feet.  I don't have any thing in my STR about complaints or issues with my feet although like most folks I've also had issues but never complained.  the 2 podiatrists think my service significantly contributed to my current conditions.  I haven't asked them for nexus letters but just want to opinions from this experienced group if i even get 2 nexus letters, without any STR entries if I even stand a chance getting rated.



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I have seen Pes service connected with nexus letters and a solid post svc treatment profile. Xrays and whatnot can sometimes show 'age' of an injury if the doctor or orthopedist is good. Your MOS and maybe a buddy letter or something that depicts a 'normal' day for you could help, too. We aren't all prior service and sometimes I think looking up an MOS while typing up my notes to the examiner doesn't occur to some of my peers.

I empathize with you- I have flat feet, also, wear orthos, and I'm 46. It can really suck on a pain day. Plus, we rarely get to wear fun shoes that much because if Im wearing orthos not all shoes or boots can handle them. KeeN makes good shoes and boots, Red Wing, New Balance (some of them)etc, obviously, though you pay for not having to walk in pain.

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While Im pretty sure (foot disorders) are not presumptive, perhaps they should be.  When my son was in the Army, he had to carry about 150 pounds knapsack for up to 6 miles multiple multiple times.  (He only weighed 130 -150 at that time.  

All the research I have seen says, "that's too much weight" to carry and it will cause issues:  Back, knees, feet, etc.  

When I was in, i remember the Navy SeaBag, being so heavy with all our clothes, carrying it, that the strap dug into my shoulder.  

Of course, I have knee and feet issues, too.  My brothers, who did not join the military, dont have feet or knee issues.  So, it was "environmental" not genetic.  And, my brother was a brick layer for years.  

My advice:  "If" you, indeed, were likewise required to carry very heavy backpacks probably over 100 to 120 pounds, you can most likely get a buddy letter, from some of your buddies "who were also" required to carry this heavy weight.  

(Ok, there is your "in service event"...the military required me to carry extra heavy loads for xx months).  

Now, of course you should/ or do have a "current" diagnosis of (foot disorder).  

Lastly, you complete the 3 Caluza elements with a nexus letter, where either your va doc or an IMO would state:

"The Veteran indicates he had to carry loads of 1xx pounds during his miltary while stationed at _____Army base.  In my professional opinion carrying this much weight, this long at least as likely as not contributed to the Veterans (foot disorder).  

You may need a buddy letter to confirm that you had to carry xx pounds for xx miles for xx months/years.  

Get the Caluza elements = get Service connection


No Caluza elements = no service connection.  

The "evidence" (CALUZA ELEMENTS) works when other stuff not so much

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Ok so here's how you deal with no STR's

1. You go to https://www.mayoclinic.org/ you look up pes planu https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/flatfeet/symptoms-causes/syc-20372604. You write down the symptoms that apply to you.

2. You go to the nearest (or the one you trust or like) VA treatment center you walking and tell them you want to see the doc (NP) about your feet pain. (do not let them know you looked it up) 

3. You tell them that you started having the foot pain when you were in AFG and DJ when you were carrying a 150 pounds knapsack and never reported it . (give them as much details as you can) Now if the doc or np is worth anything they should be typing this into the computer.  You can then tell them that you have been treated by doc X and he opinionated that you have pes planu. 

You will than need to file a VA FORM 21-526EZ. (You can file this at va.gov online I like the other one myself) When you do that you should also file a VA FORM 10-5345 for each of the doctors you saw. (I like getting the records myself and picking ONLY the ones that state what you have and why. sending the all the medical records may mean the VA will miss what you want them to see.)

So my doing this hears what you have done. You have made the VA basically do is create an STR for you. They will have to research it and see if you served where you said you did and if you have any medical records etc. You can except a C & P Exam as the VA's system will generate one.

broncovet If the VA made foot disorders presumptive (as they should) everyone from the 40's through the present would qualify.

For the record my wife has worked for the same place for 24 years. She works on a concrete floor and has stared to have  pes planus because of the crappy Walmart shoes she wears. We just went out and bough her two pair of good ones for $178 yeaters day.   

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21-4142/4142a = release for private providers to release records to VA ( some providers still ignore them)


10-5345 = release for VA to give records to 3rd party providers


Either way works, though if you use a 4142/4142a we do the work of contacting the providers you list. It doesn't absolve you of trying also- Some providers ignore us, or charge money, or won't release without their own special form in addition to ours, which we dont find out about until later. If you want a third party IMO/dbq then a 10-5345 is more appropriate because your provider can say that yes, they did see your medical records, and you have the request form to show that you requested them.

Edited by brokensoldier244th
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