Degenerative Arthritis of the Lumbar Spine

Skyhunter88

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I received my MEB proceedings and was found with an unfitting condition of Disc Bulge with Annular Fissure at L5-S1 & Degenerative Arthritis of the Lumbar Spine. I'm curious as to how DOD and the VA will rate this? Any help would be much appreciated!
 

jahlon

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Smoke7

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I was rated for what your referring too and they only go off a 10, 20, or 40% rating for the lower back. So your range of motion is the big tell on which you will be getting. I can tell you from my own experience and a buddy who also has same issues but worse then me, that it is hard to get anything but 10 or 20 rating for back. You pretty much have to not be able to walk or move to get that 40 rating. So if your trying to plan what you might get then I would recommend you plan for 10 or 20% and that is it for it.
 

builtgypsy

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My MEB/PEB rated me at 10% for Degenerative Arthritis of the Spine. After a proper ROM measurement, they upgraded that to 20%. The VA has gone back and forth from 20% to 40% to 20%, depending apparently on the phase of the moon.

The biggest issue I have had with exams has been a proper ROM measurement. I had to argue and push for a real measurement each time, not just an eyeball guesstimate.
 

GSWarrior2017

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My MEB/PEB rated me at 10% for Degenerative Arthritis of the Spine. After a proper ROM measurement, they upgraded that to 20%. The VA has gone back and forth from 20% to 40% to 20%, depending apparently on the phase of the moon.

The biggest issue I have had with exams has been a proper ROM measurement. I had to argue and push for a real measurement each time, not just an eyeball guesstimate.

Sounds terrible! I recently completed my C&P exams and had my ROM measured. I am not sure how it will be rated, but I am unable to lean forward/bend more than 2 inches from a vertical position. Leaning backwards is even less. Not sure what to expect because there is so much inconsistency across the board.

Any thoughts are welcome.
 

fred801

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I am currently boarded for DDD of the Lumbar Spine. From my understanding the rating you will get from this condition is purely based on ROM. It doesn't go off inches it goes off degrees. If I remember correctly anything under 30 degrees "should" fall under the 40% rating. There is a section on this website that leads you to the page explaining ratings for all conditions. I suggest reading through it and it will give you an idea where you stand.
 

GSWarrior2017

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I am currently boarded for DDD of the Lumbar Spine. From my understanding the rating you will get from this condition is purely based on ROM. It doesn't go off inches it goes off degrees. If I remember correctly anything under 30 degrees "should" fall under the 40% rating. There is a section on this website that leads you to the page explaining ratings for all conditions. I suggest reading through it and it will give you an idea where you stand.
Thank you. I read the suggested material, and I also got my C&P ROM results from my PEBLO yesterday and my forward Flexion was 0 to 15. My other measurements were all 0 to 10 or 0 to 15 max.
 

fred801

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Update.

My findings came back on mine. 40%DOD/100%VA PDRL.
My ROM was less than 30. Only did one measurement because it was painful and they guy doing the exam stated in the notes only one measurement required.
I have almost 10 years of documentation having back issues and done everything except surgery.
In my statement I said I wished to stay AD.
In my commands statement they said I was a great worker but my condition severally limited my ability to do my job.
They denied my request to stay in and med retired me.

I have a feeling that the memo from the command held some weight but I will never know.
 

GSWarrior2017

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Update.

My findings came back on mine. 40%DOD/100%VA PDRL.
My ROM was less than 30. Only did one measurement because it was painful and they guy doing the exam stated in the notes only one measurement required.
I have almost 10 years of documentation having back issues and done everything except surgery.
In my statement I said I wished to stay AD.
In my commands statement they said I was a great worker but my condition severally limited my ability to do my job.
They denied my request to stay in and med retired me.

I have a feeling that the memo from the command held some weight but I will never know.

Awesome results from a medical perspective! As far as wanting to stay in, but being put on PDRL--I hope that it all works out for your good even though the outcome is different than you requested. I did a letter admitting that I could no longer physically perform to the level that is expected, and my Commander's letter read like I was basically falling apart and unable to work any longer. When the time comes I'll try to update here as well.

Thank you for sharing your experience. In spite of all of this pain it gives me hope.
 

fred801

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Awesome results from a medical perspective! As far as wanting to stay in, but being put on PDRL--I hope that it all works out for your good even though the outcome is different than you requested. I did a letter admitting that I could no longer physically perform to the level that is expected, and my Commander's letter read like I was basically falling apart and unable to work any longer. When the time comes I'll try to update here as well.

Thank you for sharing your experience. In spite of all of this pain it gives me hope.

I'll be honest I was torn on what to put on my statement. My board started in November and I was scheduled to get out HYT in April. I didn't spend 14 years to fall 6 years short so that was the main reason I put I intended to stay AD. I was afraid that if I put I intended on getting out that the board would see I would have been a HYT casualty and just put me permanent LIMDU until my HYT. Interestingly enough they raised the HYT and it alleviated my concern.
 

GSWarrior2017

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I'll be honest I was torn on what to put on my statement. My board started in November and I was scheduled to get out HYT in April. I didn't spend 14 years to fall 6 years short so that was the main reason I put I intended to stay AD. I was afraid that if I put I intended on getting out that the board would see I would have been a HYT casualty and just put me permanent LIMDU until my HYT. Interestingly enough they raised the HYT and it alleviated my concern.
Sounds like a great ending to the situation, brother! I hope it goes as well for me and my family.
 

Peter.parker.gonzalez

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Hello everyone my Peblo just sent me an email with my meb packet and tomorrow I will be seeing him to review it. Within it I also saw the ROM for my back it was

Forward flexion 0 to 10 degrees
Extension 0 to 15 degrees
Right lateral flexion 0 to 10 degrees

I know the forward flexion is what really matters. Is it safe to say I have a good idea that I'll be getting the 40% as well?
 

Warrior644

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Hello everyone my Peblo just sent me an email with my meb packet and tomorrow I will be seeing him to review it. Within it I also saw the ROM for my back it was

Forward flexion 0 to 10 degrees
Extension 0 to 15 degrees
Right lateral flexion 0 to 10 degrees

I know the forward flexion is what really matters. Is it safe to say I have a good idea that I'll be getting the 40% as well?
As based only upon the information you provided, then yes, it would seem that a DoVA 40% proposed rating for your thoracolumbar spine is forthcoming via the DoVA D-RAS. Take care!

Thus, I quite often comment that "possessing well-informed knowledge is truly a powerful equalizer!"

Best Wishes!
 

Peter.parker.gonzalez

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As based only upon the information you provided, then yes, it would seem that a DoVA 40% proposed rating for your thoracolumbar spine is forthcoming via the DoVA D-RAS. Take care!

Thus, I quite often comment that "possessing well-informed knowledge is truly a powerful equalizer!"

Best Wishes!
Thank you! The forward flexion is the only thing that matters right? The degree you received, because from what I have read in order to get the medical retirement you needed to have a forward flexion of 30 degrees or less, and when I went to the va clinic to Take my exam the provider doing the exam showed me the numbers in the end, and also that's what is stated on my meb packet as well. So I just wanted to make sure That the information is correct so I could have an idea to see if I qualified for the medical retirement
 

Warrior644

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Thank you! The forward flexion is the only thing that matters right? The degree you received, because from what I have read in order to get the medical retirement you needed to have a forward flexion of 30 degrees or less, and when I went to the va clinic to Take my exam the provider doing the exam showed me the numbers in the end, and also that's what is stated on my meb packet as well. So I just wanted to make sure That the information is correct so I could have an idea to see if I qualified for the medical retirement
Indeed, albeit please remember that the DoVA 40% proposed rating is not official at any point in time until the DoVA D-RAS issues the DoVA official ratings documentation after you become a military disabled veteran.

So, again, as only based upon the information you provided, it would seem that a military disability retirement should be forthcoming. Take care!

Thus, I quite often comment that "possessing well-informed knowledge is truly a powerful equalizer!"

Best Wishes!
 

Peter.parker.gonzalez

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Indeed, albeit please remember that the DoVA 40% proposed rating is not official at any point in time until the DoVA D-RAS issues the DoVA official ratings documentation after you become a military disabled veteran.

So, again, as only based upon the information you provided, it would seem that a military disability retirement should be forthcoming. Take care!

Thus, I quite often comment that "possessing well-informed knowledge is truly a powerful equalizer!"

Best Wishes!

Thank you so much!!
 

GSWarrior2017

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This also helped to answer my similar question from another thread. Thanks, Warrior644.
 
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