Helo Crash Fusion... Help and Info Please.

PaulB

Registered Member
Hello Everyone,

A little background, I’ve been in the Navy for 8+ years, I was in a Helicopter crash 4 years ago, after the crash I probably had a concussion but they were only concerned with the crash investigation. 2 months later had Appendicitis they did a CT of my abdomen (this will be important later). After they finished the mishap board I was back To flying and deployed for 6 months, had normal back pain up until about 2 months after my deployment and then real pain started kicking in had about a year of physical therapy and chiro, acupuncture...you name it. Then one day I lost feeling in the left side of my body the whole thing. Went to the ER they finally gave me an MRI and I met with my neurologist where he told me that my back was broken. He said “were you in a car crash or something?” No, I was in a helo crash ...little did I know that it had been broken for a few years. He knew that cause it was visible in my CT scan that I had done almost right after my crash. He said yeah the helicopter crash def would have caused this. I have a bunch over other stuff going on with my back stenosis, Ddd, arthritis. But he did a few injections and tried to see if those would help one did for a week that let him know that the fusion was the way to go. Did the fusion and he then told me so you gonna get out or switch jobs like get a desk job. My response was I’m gonna keep doing what I do he proceeded to tell me the risks and the damage it’s gonna cause me internally, even if I’m fully recovered. now we are 2 years past it I deployed again but I’m finally realizing he was probably right and I’m looking to start a MEB. Finally to the point of my post.
Does any know how my service related injury will be looked at by the MEB?

Will they look at the fact I deployed after surgery as a way to rate me less?

I have 2 years left on my contract when should I initiate the process?

I have hearing loss amongst other back (neck) issues, should I get the ball rolling on those ASAP?

What if the MEB feels I can do another job?

What if they prolong it enough to where your contract ends? Then what?

Thank you for any and all help!
 

Warrior644

Staff Member
PEB Forum Lifetime Supporter
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Hello Everyone,

A little background, I’ve been in the Navy for 8+ years, I was in a Helicopter crash 4 years ago, after the crash I probably had a concussion but they were only concerned with the crash investigation. 2 months later had Appendicitis they did a CT of my abdomen (this will be important later). After they finished the mishap board I was back To flying and deployed for 6 months, had normal back pain up until about 2 months after my deployment and then real pain started kicking in had about a year of physical therapy and chiro, acupuncture...you name it. Then one day I lost feeling in the left side of my body the whole thing. Went to the ER they finally gave me an MRI and I met with my neurologist where he told me that my back was broken. He said “were you in a car crash or something?” No, I was in a helo crash ...little did I know that it had been broken for a few years. He knew that cause it was visible in my CT scan that I had done almost right after my crash. He said yeah the helicopter crash def would have caused this. I have a bunch over other stuff going on with my back stenosis, Ddd, arthritis. But he did a few injections and tried to see if those would help one did for a week that let him know that the fusion was the way to go. Did the fusion and he then told me so you gonna get out or switch jobs like get a desk job. My response was I’m gonna keep doing what I do he proceeded to tell me the risks and the damage it’s gonna cause me internally, even if I’m fully recovered. now we are 2 years past it I deployed again but I’m finally realizing he was probably right and I’m looking to start a MEB. Finally to the point of my post.
Does any know how my service related injury will be looked at by the MEB?


Will they look at the fact I deployed after surgery as a way to rate me less?

I have 2 years left on my contract when should I initiate the process?

I have hearing loss amongst other back (neck) issues, should I get the ball rolling on those ASAP?

What if the MEB feels I can do another job?

What if they prolong it enough to where your contract ends? Then what?
Thank you for any and all help!
Welcome to the PEB Forum! :)

From an U.S. Army perspective, reference my feedback to your specific inquiry as follows:

Q1: Does any know how my service related injury will be looked at by the MEB?
A1: The DoD IDES MEB/PEB process begins whenever your medical provider(s) determine your ability to continue military service is questionable due to a physical and/or mental impairment.

Q2: Will they look at the fact I deployed after surgery as a way to rate me less?
A2: Within the DoD IDES process, the DoVA D-RAS is responsible for providing the disability ratings for all DoD conditions and DoVA contentions as based upon the criteria as annotated in 38 CFR VASRD.

Q3: I have 2 years left on my contract when should I initiate the process?
A3: Unfortunately, you can't initiate the DoD IDES process albeit I would highly suggest that you talk with your Navy medical provider if you aren't capable of performing your assigned military duties anymore.

Q4: I have hearing loss amongst other back (neck) issues, should I get the ball rolling on those ASAP?
A4: Indeed, if they aren't properly documented within your medical records at this point.

Q5: What if the MEB feels I can do another job?
A5: The DoD IDES MEB/PEB is a duty-related process used to determine the fitness and applicable disability benefits of military service personnel with duty-related impairments. If the medical condition(s) improve to the point that the military service member is able to return to full military duty, then they are returned to their assigned military units.

Q6: What if they prolong it enough to where your contract ends? Then what?
A6a: Within the DoD IDES MEB/PEB process, the goal for the DoD and the DoVA is to complete 80 percent of all active duty (AD) and non-active duty (NAD) Service member cases in no more than 230 days.
A6b: If a military service member's enlistment contract expires while officially referred & accepted into the DoD IDES, then the military service member shall continue to remain on AD via an involuntary medical extension until a final IDES disposition is rendered.

Nonetheless, in my experienced opinion, it's highly beneficial to review the regulation governing the DoD IDES process, the IDES revised timeliness goals guidance, and the 38 CFR VASRD as provided in the aforementioned hyperlinks. Also, it may be helpful to visit the Military Disability Made Easy website established by a team of military medical professionals. Their disclaimer of liability states "Military Disability Made Easy, Inc. assumes or undertakes no liability for any loss or damage suffered as a result of the use, misuse or reliance on the information and content on this website. We strive to provide all information accurately, but all guidance and opinions are intended only to aide the veteran in their personal education." I hope this helps. Take care!

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

Best Wishes!
 

PaulB

Registered Member
Thank you for the detailed response! I have been doing my due diligence and reading up on the MEB process and utilizing the tools you have suggested. I have a few more questions that maybe you can answer.

Q1: How do they find out what all "the member" has wrong with them? Do they just go off what's in your record or do you say: I have Neuritis, I have a Spinal Fusion, I have plantar fasciitis, etc..

Q2 / A: From what I've read they don't really care if you have a fusion they just care about ROM, is that correct?
B: Does me being in a helicopter crash hold any weight to my rating?

Thanks again for all the help and answers.

V/R
Paul
 
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