MEB for Spinal Cord Stimulator

BARGBP2

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Registered Member
This is my first post since joining, and after reading a lot of similar posts to gather information. A little history of me, I am a 15.5 year E-6 in the USAF, I am being boarded for ongoing to back pain and having a spinal cord stimulator. I work in a maintenance career field, which is not friendly to backs at all.

In 2006, I was pushing a piece of equipment in our shop, and I slipped and fell rather hard on the shop floor. I didn't know how much damage I did to my back at the time, and after catching my breath, I got up and went about my day like nothing happened. I was an E-4 at the time, and didn't report it like I should have, lessons learned the hard way. In 2007, I started having a very stiff back in the morning, I chalked it up to having an old mattress, so my wife and I purchased a new bed. It was much more comfortable, but I was still having a stiff back in the morning. I finally went to the clinic on base, and I was sent for x-rays and also sent to the chiropractor. I was told that I have spondylolisthesis and that it was probably aggravated with my job, and that it has "probably always been there". I didn't tie it to the fall at this time, and went through the treatment with the chiropractor, and then physical therapy. In 2008 I deployed, without any issues, that back pain was still there, but it was manageable. After returning I sought treatment again, thinking that with the back, trying to be proactive was better than being reactive. Yea, silly me when it comes to the medical side. Anyways, PT again, and then eventually going to pain management. Went through all of the injections, RF ablation, and a huge variance of medications. Nothing was helping, and my back at this point was getting worse. I was finally sent to a neurosurgeon, and he agreed to the spondylolisthesis diagnosis, and suggested an L5-S1 fusion. In March 2011, I had the fusion surgery. While I was recovering in the hospital, the surgeon came in and stated that he discovered the cause of the spondylolisthesis, and it was 2 fractures. He then asked if I had been in a car accident, and I said no, and then asked if I had fallen at some point. I had a flash back to the slip in the shop! However being 5 years after the fact, there was little I could do other than discussing it with my PCM to have it added in my records.

I had no complications after the surgery, I healed fairly quick compared to some stories that I had read, and was back to work on light duty in a month. During my light duty time I was sent to physical therapy to help in the recovery, and I was feeling great! I was running again without just toughing it out, I was doing Insanity work out, I felt I was in the best shape of my life. However, at this point I was told that I should never do sit-ups again, but none of the doctors would put that in writing, and my PCM wouldn't push a permanent profile for sit-ups without seeing something being an issue, since I was still doing and passing a full PT test. in 2012, I volunteered for another deployment, had no issues on this one other than crappy beds/mattresses, so I had a stiff back again towards the end of the trip. When I got back, I asked to go to the chiropractor again, just for some adjustments, and I was asked if I would like to try dry needling. Never heard of it before, it is like acupuncture with a little electrical shock, and it actually helped.

I had very mild pain, in the 1 range on the scale. noticeable but in no way an interference. In June of 2014, I went on a short TDY, no issues with that. then in September of 2014, while performing the sit-up portion of a PT test, my back popped. I stopped moving, expecting some kind of intense pain to follow, and nothing. I figured I would just do the minimum on the sit-ups in case it was something severe that I needed to report. I remembered my minimum wrong, and was actually 1 short of that. I finished the rest of the test not knowing that I had already failed, until I headed out and realized it. Still not having any pain, I took the fail, did the unit's FIP program, and even ended up with a referral EPR for it. I wasn't sweating it too much, this was the first negative mark I've had in my career. I will recover from this, and plug along. While doing the FIP, my back pain started slowly coming back. Since the FIP is a 5 day a week mandatory program, I also ended up with shin splints from the extra running. Finally tested out with no issues, other than the back pain creeping up again. In an effort to try something different, I tried mental health, and went through a bio-feedback session. I was trying to be open minded, but this was dumb for my condition. I can see it working in specific cases, but not on a back injury. A couple other attempts at "alternative" care that would be covered, and nothing. So back to Pain management. More injections, RF ablation and numerous medications that all I got were side effects, it was suggested that I might be a candidate for the spinal cord stimulator. I mentioned it to my PCM, and he stated that I couldn't be retained if I had that. Although I have yet to find anything that says you are non-retainable with one. Might be buried in a hidden medical AFI that I have yet to find. I set up the trial, and I was amazed at the benefits of it. I was sleeping better, I had 0 pain anywhere. I was ready for the implant!

August of 2017 I had the implant, I had no issues, I was released the same day. I still had pain, but I chalked it up to having just had surgery, and needed to heal. Over the next year, there was no relief. I had it reprogrammed 3 times, and the sensation target area always ended up back where we started. After the last reprogram, the rep stated that he doesn't think it's a nerve issue, which what the SCS targets, but a structural issue that the SCS wasn't going to help with. I was officially coded for an MEB in October of 2017, and just met with the PEBLO October of 2018. Everything had expired at this point, and was basically started over. My 469 still has the restrictions from the SCS surgery, that should have expired in October of 2017, when I was actually coded for the MEB, and it was renewed last month with the same restrictions. I am attempting to get that corrected. This makes me mad since I couldn't get a profile for the sit-ups before, but now I am going on over a year of over the top restrictions (no bending or twisting at the waist, no raising your hands over your head, and can not lift more than 5lbs).

I am now seeing a new spine specialist, and he is ready to remove the SCS already, but due to the MEB, I "can't have any surgeries" without proving medical necessity. He has ordered different imaging of my back, and some nerve conduction tests. I will see him again in 2 weeks and go over these results. At the moment, my SCS isn't even on, and I will be meeting the rep to get a usage report so I can prove that it is useless to me. I intend to fight the MEB since I have been doing my job since 2006 with the injury anyways, what is 4 more years? It will be a difficult fight, I already understand this, but I am furious at the lack of care they are providing on base, and the amount of time it takes to get things figured out and pushed through. Any advise, thoughts, suggestions are appreciated. And if anyone knows where it states that you can't be retained with an SCS would be awesome.
 

chaplaincharlie

Super Moderator
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PEB Forum Veteran
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In the resources section of this website you will find the MSD. It is the document that talks about retention in the AF. Since you are over 8 years of service, everything wrong with you is SC, reported or not.
 

elmaasheley147

New Member
Registered Member
I don't know have you tried Signature hybrid mattress or not, its the best mattress for spinal cord relief, I use it since 2 years and I really got much relief from my pain, I suggest you once check on Invicta Stores coupons at ReeCoupons, because I bought my one from there, and its a worth buying for me, I hope it will also help for you.
 

FairFrank

New Member
Registered Member
I don't know have you tried Signature hybrid mattress or not, its the best mattress for spinal cord relief, I use it since 2 years and I really got much relief from my pain, I suggest you once check on Invicta Stores coupons at ReeCoupons, because I bought my one from there, and its a worth buying for me, I hope it will also help for you.
I'm not pretty sure that it's the best choice. There are a lot of discount offers on Amazon or review sites like this
 

Mattress123

New Member
Registered Member
Thanks a lot for sharing this! Going to be very useful for everyone , since you’ve shared such a fantastic post there!
 
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