Neck and Back Injured, still on AD, trying to decide way forward

magnuzno

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I am on active duty and am dealing with some significant neck and back pain. I experience almost constant shooting pain in various extremities, mostly the arms and legs. I trust my primary care provider and he has been willing to send me to just about anyone I need to see to help solve this problem. I had an x-ray in 2015 and then again last month. The radiologist reported further degradation in my neck on my most recent x-ray but my doctor said nothing was a "red flag."

I've been seeing physical therapists and a chiropractor for about 4 months who are giving some great care. Unfortunately, my symptoms are not really not improving much while I'm still doing my job. I'm wondering if I should see a neurologist or another expert? Any suggestions?

The injuries I've sustained over my career are service connected and directly related to my daily job. I've sustained multiple whip-lash type accidents. I am still in my career path, doing my job, while my command helps me mitigate the risk of further injury until I can improve or learn more about the severity of my injury.

Appreciate any help anyone can offer. This forum is an incredible resource!
 

brianmatt31

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Hi magnuzno. Sorry to hear about the pain.
I'll try to help make sense of this.

How many active duty years toward getting to 20 years active years?
What service are you? If Army I take it your Regular Army or AGR in NG/AR? What is your MOS if Army?
Have you continued to maintain a copy of your complete civilian medical record and military records?

One thing that truly helped me out with my back problem with the VA was I had my primary care send me for an MRI so it would show more evidence of the injury.
I'm Brian.
 

chaplaincharlie

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You might want to ask for an MRI. An X-ray is great for bones, but an MRI shows soft tissue with greater clarity.
 

magnuzno

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
Thanks gents. I am coming up on 13 years time in service. I became an AGR in the Guard about a year ago, I did my first 12 years as regular active duty. I am 36 years old and I have a pretty comprehensive medical record of almost entirely military treatment for these injuries.

I had an MRI of my neck done in 2017. At the time, my Doc told me it was a matter of time until I would need surgery, thinking 20-30 years. My symptoms were fairly benign at the time so I've continued in my current career and took it as just one Doc's opinion.

Since aggravating the injury about a year ago, I've started to experience more significant symptoms that make me question my decision to stay in this job. I love what I do and make a great living doing it.

I am considering another MRI. I've been told by my chiropractor and primary care provider that there's not a huge need for one because it probably won't change how we're handling the injury. This advise is also being given because an MRI could reveal certain conditions that would require a waiver and take some of these decisions out of my hands. Therefore, I've been putting it off for a few months.

If I get another MRI, who is qualified to accurately interpret the results? The doctors I've had so far seem to mostly rely on the conclusion presented from the anonymous radiologist report.
 
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magnuzno

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
I will be getting an MRI of my injury Friday. My physical therapist is pretty sure I have a torn ligament in my neck, specifically a torn alar ligament. If true it would be pretty unlikely I'll be able to continue in my current line of work, if in the military at all.
 
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