Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease (Seperation) Help!.

murphy

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
I got the pre-narsum back today (They want me to review it and then sign it)


Conditions comsidered for seperation:

Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease

Other conditions you feel were aggravated by service:

Herniated Intervertebral Disc due to iraq injury
PTSD
Cyst Removal from calf left scar (itching irriation)
-------------------------------------------------------------

ROM -

Flex: 0-45
EXT: 0-35
L LAT Flex: 0-20
R LAT Flex: 0-20
L LAT Rotate: 0-50
R LAT Rotate: 0-55

Total RoM - 225. (added the above together)

I probably will be seperated from my back injury/disease. I was wondering what the possible percent was on this?

I did the va C&P's about 7 months ago but now my condition has become worse, which I have gone to sick call numerous times, went back to pain mgmt and got a nerve block done which has caused even more pain. I have had 3 visits to pain mgmt where they did 3 injections as well. I have never been out of work for more than a day at a time, but the pain is bad as hell and now hurts to walk, sleep right. I have a P3 profile as well that limits me to nothing basically.

I can't run, I cant walk more than a mile... I cant lift anything hardly (10#) and im on medication all day long just to make it through the day. They have not reccommended surgery as they state im not a surgery canidate.


This resulted form an iraq injury that they say was resolved by tenz and icing. They say that later (4 months) that I started to have flare ups etc and situation was worsening. (they meaning SM = me, said that it was )

I hate going to the doctor because every time I go they just fill me with more bottles of BS etc that slows me down etc to the point where im a zombie.

I now have pain all the time, shooting down to my legs etc, and like I said it has worsend to the point where it sucks a ton all the time unless im laying down.

I have never been prescribed bed rest except for 1 week back in 2005.

Now - They want me to sign the narsum, but the narsum doesnt reflect my current situation. I was told that if I sign it, that the current info will reflect later when the VA request a packet of my medical records to make a decision on the rating.

So my questions are this:

Do I sign my narsum now, as the VA will get my up to date stuff on my back condition with the full review.

Do I expect to recieve VA compensation below 30%?

I have heard alot of things and now I am getting scared, because if I can't tolerate a normal job........ I don't think 30% VA disability would even suffice for me to take care of myself much less my family.

Your thoughts on all this? Please help!.

Thanks.
 

murphy

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
So by overlooking this site fully, I think this is where I sit - 20% based on ROM foward flex. It says in my narsum though that I have foraminal stenosis encroaching on nerver roots, a hreniated disc, weakness, pain blah blah and gurading tenderness on thoraco spine.

They will just base this on 20% right? because my flexy is above 30 but not more than 60? and I have had no epidsodes that have put me on bed rest for more than a day?

Thanks to anyone who can answer this.
 

jlm

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Request a nerve conduction study with EMG. If there are lower extremity nerve issues that can be documented using these tests, then they may include a rating for them under the neurological issue ratings for neuritis/neuralgia.
 

1st5time

PEB Forum Regular Member
Be prepared for a fight. I just received a 10% rating 15 July 2010 for:

Degenerative disc disease
Chronic back pain w/ debilitating episodes
3 herniated discs L-3 thru S-1
Arthritis throughout lumbar regian
Neuroforaminal stenosis
Back spasms
Sciatica w/ associated shooting pains
Tingling/numb lower extremeties
.....and a host of secondary issues related to 50+ cortisone shots over the last three years.

All as a result of an injury sustained on duty working aircraft and the fault of another. But the IPEB only rated DDD and considered everything else secondary. Also, they 'conveniently' had my RILO physical/medical evaluation shortly after a set of 6 cortisone shots, which I at least get some marginal pain relief from for a week or so, but is always temporary.

Needless to say, I disputed the finding within 10 minutes of notification (to heck with their 10 day response period.)
 

murphy

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
"But the IPEB only rated DDD and considered everything else secondary."

That sucks. I know how you feel. Curious what you mean by secondary? As in are those 0% ratings? or they just tossed them out?

Thanks for the replies.
 

jlm

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Be prepared for a fight. I just received a 10% rating 15 July 2010 for:

Degenerative disc disease
Chronic back pain w/ debilitating episodes
3 herniated discs L-3 thru S-1
Arthritis throughout lumbar regian
Neuroforaminal stenosis
Back spasms
Sciatica w/ associated shooting pains
Tingling/numb lower extremeties
.....and a host of secondary issues related to 50+ cortisone shots over the last three years.

All as a result of an injury sustained on duty working aircraft and the fault of another. But the IPEB only rated DDD and considered everything else secondary.

The PEB will not assign percentages unless disabilities are listed individually as disqualifying in your packet. If your doctor lists something like "DDD with L5 radiculopathy" then the board will not rate the radiculopathy. Apparently, using this wording identifies DDD as the disqualifying condition and the radiculopathy as a secondary side effect that is not a stand alone disqualifier. If the doctor believes that the DDD is disqualifying and the Nerve issues are separately disqualifying, they must list them each separately and identify each as a disqualifying condition.

Reading the VASRD, DDD, herniated discs, arthritis and other back specific issues are generally rated together and assigned a percentage using the musculoskeletal section that pertains to the spine.

If you have nerve issues that are listed as separately disqualifying, then they should be evaluated utilizing the Neurological portion of the VASRD under a Paralysis, or more frequently a Neuritis or Neuralgia code (which both use the same percentages as the paralysis evaluation).
 

Al Cos

Member
Registered Member
Is there anybody there can help us. I am also have the same condition with this man, but in my case I was found being fit for duty and they are saying that I am non deployable, but every time there was a detail they sent me to the group...I am feeling like hell now, Is there any possibility that I can be medical boarded again. I hope some knowlegeable person can answer this.
 

postman56

PEB Forum Regular Member
Hello all! After reading this thread I am total confused. I am national guard member currently going through the MEB process. I am rated by the VA 20% lumbar strain and 20% lower extremities radiolopathy and 20% cervical strain. I just had a c&p with the VA for upper exstremities radiolopathy in which I think I will be rated. Problem is that I went through an examination with the MEB and they have my condions listed as Chronic Neck pain & DDD Radiolopathy and Chronic low Back & DDD Radiolopathy. From what I understood from this thread I will only be rated on ROM for both of these condions?
 

jlm

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
In my case, the initial submission had the back issues and radiculopathy listed as one diagnosis. Even though I had diagnosed radiculopathy with a nerve conduction/EMG confirming, they rated me using only the ROM factor. I appealed the rating and during the reconsideration the board instructed my doctors to redo my diagnosis sheet and list the radiculopathy as a separate condition if it was disqualifying on its own. After they did this, the PEB sent back an informal reconsideration -199 with the radiculopathy separately rated.

If your package has not been sent to the PEB yet, I recommend going to your PCM and asking if your radiculopathy is disqualifying on its own. If so, ask to have it listed as a separate, disqualifying, diagnosis. If the issues are bilateral, be extra safe and have the diagnosis written as two separate (ie c7 radiculopathy right arm as one and c7 radiculopathy left arm as another).
 

Ruptured Duck

Moderator
PEB Forum Veteran
My understanding is that you can also request an "independent review" of the MEB prior to the package being sent to the IPEB. This may be where you can get the right info entered in the MEB.
 

gunmate1

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Ok i have been following this and it looks like i have some of the simliar problems as everyone else in here. How do i get an independent review? Because righ tnow i am not even sure what my actual percentage injuries are. My neurosurgeon said said that SM (me) is not a candidate for surgery in my (Doc) opinion given the many abnormalities of his spine. Surgery, if done would not salvage his military career and render him worldwide deployable under field conditions. There fore, i advise that he proceed with an MEB already in progress and obtain further medical management of his spinal problems as a civilian. Now he also states that on the MRI that i have Scheuermanns disease in lower thoracic area, lumbar hyperlordosis, DDD L3-4, L4-5 and L5-S1, HNPs at L4-5 and L5-S1 more prominent on right. So i am not sure how that would all rate any help would be appreciated and also any suggestions on anything i can do differently than i am doing now?
 

Marine32

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
gunmate,

I would say the main thing is to have ROM results that would render you at over the %30 mark. If your spinal issues are unfitting, and your ROM is above the %30 range, there is nothing more for you to do. On the other hand, if your ROM results do not fall under a higher percentage, then study the VASRD and make sure your medical document wording is tailored to the VASRD so rating your issues will be easy for them. If you don't agree with the military physicians you get care from, you do have the right to have your issues evaluated by a civilian doctor. Most of my disabilities were taken care of by civilian physicians.
 

Ruptured Duck

Moderator
PEB Forum Veteran
Gunmate,

Once you get the results of your MEB you can request an "independent review" meaning that someone else (another doc) besides the three doctors on your MEB will now review your MEB package. That will take at least another 22 days to a month or more.

You also then have an opportunity to rebut or add to the MEB yourself before it goes to the IPEB. This is why having an MEB/PEB attorney like Jason who understands what needs to be in the package is so important and doing everything you can to understand what is the full nature of your injury and/or disease with all supporting documentation is everything.

Jason has told me that around 80% of the cases that he has had to repesent at formal PEB/BCMR's is because required info, documentation etc. never made it into the MEB package for whatever reason.

It's like anything else in the military, once it gets screwed up at the start it's always harder to correct it down range. Just like computers "Garbage in/Garbage out".
 

youngdrill

Member
Registered Member
What's up fellow service members I have a question that hopefully somebody can relate to. I am getting out on July 2011 and I had an MRI done which shows DDD in the L3, L4, and L5 lumbar, Spinal Stenosis, and Mild Bulging discs. I have went to the ER several times because my right leg goes numb for hours every now and then. I am about to get my first cortisone shot next week, I am taking three different pain medications. What percentage can I expect after 10 long years in the Infantry?
 
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