Chronic Compartment Syndrome

CLNavy

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
I am trying to find out if anyone has heard of how chronic or exertional compartment syndrome is rated. My Doc at Balboa told me it was hard to diagnose and treat because not a lot is understood about it and what long term effects it has. I had the surgery for it to reduce the pressure build it causes within my leg but due to the 5 years of misdiagnosis I now have muscle and nerve damage, but thankfully the surgery greatly reduced the risk of needing an amputation, I was only 7 PSI from Muscle Death in my lower left leg... I also found out that the type of surgery I had causes additional damage to my muscles and nerves, so now I am actually more restricted than before, way to go Navy Docs! Anyway, here are my limitations, if someone could give me a guesstimate from the VA rating system I would appreciate it.

- No standing for longer than 10 mins.
- Can't do pushups do to sharp shooting pains in ankle (side effect from surgery)
- Can't walk more than a block
- Very limited stair or ladder use
- Can't bike for more than 10 mins

Essentially I am limited to how long I can stand on my leg, or use it in any fashion, even exercises that cause repeated ankle movements cause me severe pain, numbness, and loss of control in my lower leg. This is just the issue I was sent to the PEB for, there is also a high probability that this will develop in my right leg as well since it is almost always a bilateral condition. The VA docs said the meniscus damage and cyst that has developed in my left knee might have been related to this issue as well, so not sure if they will connect them for my final rating.
 

VAJumper

Moderator
PEB Forum Veteran
I also have a severe case of compartment syndrome in my leg with similar limitations. I can't walk without crutches, stand, or even sit for 10 minues. I also have palsies (paraylis) in my leg and foot. When I met the board, they only rated me for the palsies at 40% (which is the maximum for one leg) and didn't even mention the compartment syndome. NOt sure if this helps, but the maximum you can get for one leg is 40% based on the amputation rule. If I I added up everything in the VA table for my leg, it would be over 200%.
 

CLNavy

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
Thanks, that does give me somewhat of an idea. I am just crossing my fingers for 30% so I can get the med retirement, but right now even severance is okay, tired of the nonsense and wait. It sucks to get a surgery and feel good till you start running again, then feel your leg decline to a worse condition in a matter of months than it ever got to in years of dealing with the problem originally.
 

misslady765

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
Hello, i have been diagnosed with Exertional Compartment Syndrome as well. I have not had the surgery because of the low success rate but i had the test done which measures the pressure within the compartments of each leg. The measurements were high prior to any exercising. I am so lost with this whole process and especially waiting to figure out if you will be sent home or not. Have you received any recent updates? It seems that there aren't many cases posted and the few i have seen had other issues aside from the compartment syndrome.
 

haz

PEB Forum Regular Member
i too have this issue in both legs and had my surgery done at balboa...and yes alot is not known about this condition...i am waiting on my ratings from the VA and as soon as i get them i will share them here.
 

koalab

PEB Forum Regular Member
I have a similar situation and a small story... I want to separate I am tired of the doctor's, MEB, etc..

There is a job opening up on base where I work. I am going to try and separate and get that job. My MEB advisor said that I can choose which option to separate.

1) Go through with MEB (complete in late 2010).
2) Separate early with 2 years left on my enlistment (I will have 4 years in). This is the new force shape that is coming out in the coming months.

If I go with the MEB, I may not be able to get the job - it may already get filled.

I am wondering what kind of compensation I am going to receive?

I am being diagnosed with exertional compartmental syndrome (both legs), and neurologist shows some minor nerve damage as a result from running. I am NOT going through with the surgery.

Does anyone have any experience with the compensation? I was told that if I separate early rather than go through with MEB, the VA usually offers a higher percentage than the AF.

I am kind of in a bind on which route to take, although I am leaning towards the early separation.

Any help is appreciated.
 

misslady765

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
When you find out more information, please share. when did your paperwork go to AFPC? How had the Compartment Syndrome affected you so far? Are you currently on a profile?
 

0331USMC

Member
Registered Member
I just started the PEB process for the same condition. I am eager to hear if any of you has new information. I am trying to get an understanding of how the VA views this condtion.
 

sandman

Member
Registered Member
OK, I have also been diagnosed with condition, although mine is bi-lateral, anterior and posterior, and these has been the findings so far:

After undergoing an PEB, the initial results were discharge with severence pay, disability rating of 20%. During this process (just like alot of you all, I have had this issue for years and suffered through multiple mis-diagnosis at the hands of Air Force doctors...) i failed multiple PT tests due to my inability to do anything other that a waist measurement (and since my exercise is limited to basically walking from my car to my desk, my waist has seen better days). So I also fell under the criteria for an administrative discharge based on PT failure. So after I received the results from my PEB and accepted the findings (discharge w/ severance and 20% disability), I was told that my package had to be pushed up to the Secretary of the Air Force's office for determination on if I would be medically or administrativly discharged.

So after a few weeks, results came back as the same, but without the disability rating. Their reasoning was that physical therepy that i had under gone for 6 months following my surgery (the same 'test the pressure-clean out your muscles-and hope it's not to late but it probably is' surgery as you all) counted as 'exercise'. So here is a direct quote from the paperwork:

"It was clear that the member's medical condition was a major contributor to his inability to accomplish his fitness requirments. The Board acknowledged that there appeared to be a casual relationship for the majority of the members disciplinary difficulties based upon the timing of his compartment syndrome in relation to his medical condition. Addressing the applicant's disability rating award, the Board is required by law to rate a disability using criteria outlined in the Veterans Administration Schedul for Rating Disabilities (VASRD). As the member was cleadred back to exercise and has no documented residual diasabling pain or weakness of the affected muscle groups, a description of only "slight" impairment is assigned to his condition at this time. Subsequently, the Board determined that the member should be discharged with severence pay with a disability rating of zero percent"

Than it goes on to inform me that i can contact the DAV office for my need for further medical care.

So my PEB Liason Officer told me it basically says "we could have kicked you out with nothing, so be glad you are getting anything" and this is due to two things: 1. I went to physical therapy for 6 months wich counts as "exercise" even though other than during physical therapy, my DLC said no bending, twisting, jumping, pushing, pulling, repatative high or low impact activity, standing or walkking for durations lasting longer than 10 minutes, and walk at own pace; desk duty only. and 2. Since i have not had a pressure test since the surgery to confirm my 'claims' that the pain has returned, then i am still ok.

So, the morale is this: Make sure that if you are still in pain, your doctor does another test, and do not expect the Air Force (or any other branch i'm sure) to help you out. Your disability will likely come from the VA (or at least the vast majority of it will).

I have my appointment with the DAV next week, and i will learn more about how much they will give me for it then. I will post the information them.
 

Rick Montoya

PEB Forum Regular Member
Hey all,

I havent been diagnosed yet with compartment syndrome but there is no doubt that i have it. I have the symptoms that are written in all of the things i read. Although i am not sure if it is exertional as my foot starts to tingle without doing any activites and continues throught the day. Even while biking at the gym i get the same pressure and numbness/tingle. I feel a constant pressure in my left leg. Also more recently my knee has felt like the cap is gonna fall off and it feels weak when i walk anywhere. I just hit my new unit at Camp Pendleton and was deciding on going to the ER Monday to have it checked out sooner then my appointment called for on the 20th of July.
 

AFMEBWTH

Member
Registered Member
sandman,

I have the exact same thing going on but have been told before I do a MEB I need to do a RILO (review in lieu of) MEB. Even after I signed the initial MEB paperwork. Thanks for posting I'm interested to see what happens and good luck. I know how you feel about the whole process. I have another appointment at UCLA and I'll check on the second pressure test hopefully the doctor doesnt chalk it up to "your still recovering" 10 months after the surgery. My legs still swell up (without running) and I get sharp pains in my ankles.
 

Hoot

Member
Registered Member
Hey guys,

I have had chronic compartment syndrome for a few years now. I was diagnosed while in the Airforce and had a four compartment release on both legs. I tried to continue on in my career field, but did not work out due to more complications. I ended up getting medically discharged with a 20% disability rating from the Airforce plus a severance pay of around ten thousand dollars and in order to start receiving your VA disability pay you have to pay back the severance pay. I have since Had a second four compartment release on both legs; still no success. I now have muscle tissue, and nerve damage in both legs and developed a bad case of plantar fasciitis which is related to my compartment syndrome. I receive 40% combined for my legs from the VA. I appealed it over a year ago and I am still waiting. I have filed claims for the plantar fasciitis which I will have surgery for in the next few months. I am very limited to physical activity and developed secondary depression due to my injuries which I am rated at 30%. I have a DAV representative, but was told by a fellow Disabled veteran to go see the VBA. Good luck.
 
data-matched-content-ui-type="image_stacked" data-matched-content-rows-num="3" data-matched-content-columns-num="1" data-ad-format="autorelaxed">
Top