OllieT

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I received my C&P exam results and I am floored....speechless at the ROM.... very disappointed at the retired LCDR (Navy) that is a QTC examiner that just decided to write down ROM percentages that were definitely not mine. Based on his ROM I will be getting 10%.

I'm actually angry at how he downplayed my conditions. Does the VA give him more money if he screws me over? It's ridiculous that we have to deal with this ontop of dealing with our medical issues. I'm tired, so tired of the games that the Navy and VA play.

I'm now going to just request a formal board and I will challenge them right to the end. They can pay me while I am doing it and get a free trip to Washington DC.

I had my ROM done the day before by my physical therapist for this very reason. It's a joke that this type of stuff happens.

My referred conditions are:

Spinal stenosis and cervical disc disorder with radiculopathy.

Not sure if the PEB will find my radiculopathy unfitting but based on my C&P DBQ I will be getting 20% for each arm. Which was completely down played too, I take 1800MG of Gabapentin a day to help alleviate my nerve pain and get through my day.

My timeline is:
21 Sep 2018 - referred, Peblo brief, MSC brief and lawyer phone call brief.
4 Oct 2018 - Commanders Letter
10 Oct 2018 - C&P exam
12 Oct 2018 - Personal Statement
22 OCT 2018 - MEB routing

PEBLO advised my case will be sent to PEB this week.

Any advice or input from veterans, Mr Perry, Chaplin Charlie, or anyone that has been through this process before would be very much appreciated.
 

OllieT

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The one is from the QTC exam and the other is from my PT the day before the exam.
IMG_5242.JPGIMG_5241.JPG
 

OllieT

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Thanks Chaplaincharlie, I am going to get another ROM done by a chirapractor and then request a VARR. Thanks for the information.
 

mxridr

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Just a question, was your ROM tested at PT done before or after your therapy session? I know from the therapy I’ve done it was always measured after when the ROM is worse.
 

OllieT

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Hey @mxridr. I actually didn't have a session that day, I just went and explained to the PT and the PT assistant that I was going for ROM with the VA the next day and I wanted it documented as two guys I work with are in the PEB phase and both had to get a chiropractor to do thier ROM after VA C&P exam because the examiner added like 20-50 degrees to thier ROM's. I was even told that I should record the whole exam but I didn't think that would be a good way to start the exam. That's if the DR would even do the exam.
 
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gsfowler

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Get your ROM measured by physical therapy at the MTF.

On the cervical spine the difference between 20% and 30% rating is 1 degree.

If you are measured at 15 degrees or less, 30%. 16 to 30 degrees 20%

Flexion is the only measurement that matters on cervical spine. The do not report it as 1 degree, 2 degree, 3 degree etc (reported as 0-15), nor do the report it as 16 degrees, 17 degrees, 18 degrees etc. (reported at 0-30)
 
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OllieT

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Hey @gsfowler, thanks. Yeah I had flexion measured by my MTF physical therapy department the day before my exam and it was measured at 0-15. I will take your advice and get it measured again by my MTF. My physical therapist was blown away by the exams ROM and she says that I guess the examiner magically cured me. Lol.
Thanks again for your time and expertise, I will definitely get my ROM measured again. Crazy to think 1 degree determines if you are separated or retired.
 

usarmy68e

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Can I respectfully ask how you came to receive the results? I am not sure where to find mine?
 

chaplaincharlie

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Thanks Chaplaincharlie, I am going to get another ROM done by a chirapractor and then request a VARR. Thanks for the information.
You are welcome. Hope your VARR changes your situation.
 

Former MiTT Team Leader

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Get your ROM measured by physical therapy at the MTF.

On the cervical spine the difference between 20% and 30% rating is 1 degree.

If you are measured at 15 degrees or less, 30%. 16 to 30 degrees 20%

Flexion is the only measurement that matters on cervical spine. The do not report it as 1 degree, 2 degree, 3 degree etc (reported as 0-15), nor do the report it as 16 degrees, 17 degrees, 18 degrees etc. (reported at 0-30)

GSFolwer-ChaplianCharlie a very stupid question here- where do solid things like X-Ray and MRI test result's play into something like this? Know-have met- quite a few vet's with back issues served things like CBT Arms wearing heavy loads all the time, (Body Armor, BSC Load, Radios etc...) and jumping in out vehicles constantly, etc... or just flat injured during training, CBT, AASLT-Fast Rope-ABN Operations, etc....with back-shoulder issues that a) either cannot get rated or b) have same issues with Flexion testing as this Thread, but MRI and X-Ray results tell quite a different story than mere Flexion testing alone?

As Mxridir states in Post #5 above: "Just a question, was your ROM tested at PT done before or after your therapy session? I know from the therapy I’ve done it was always measured after when the ROM is worse."

A veteran can simply be having a bad day or a good day when Flexion testing is done, and/or two or three different Examiner's, PT's etc...do Flexion testing and come up with very different results- even on same day.....???????? It is kind of like the old VA MH GAF (Global Assessment of Functioning- not suppose utilize anymore) scale were rated MH Disorder, in part based on assessed GAF Score that other MH Providers the same day could adjudicate differently.....???? My understanding is the US DVA did away GAF Scores or was forced to do away with GAF Scores for this very same reason- too much differentiation between MH Providers/Examiners even on same day....?????

Thanks......

PS: Thought occured to me many may not know what a FAST Rope Operation is ergo, if interested, and for example only please see web-address: Fast-roping - Wikipedia "Fast-roping" From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ! Any whom have observed this Operation in action might have observed there is often nothing very graceful in landing at the bottom-especially when carrying full CBT Load.......although OllieT's grip strength test believe w/in limits to execute Insertion Operation such as this......perhaps...?????
 
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usarmy68e

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@usarmy68e, hey welcome to the forum. I asked my PEBLO and he sent them to me to view.
appreciate it, I just had mine done I believe on the 19th of December so I am just curious as I await the next step if I can take a peek and kind of figure out what I am looking at (roughly)
 

OllieT

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@Former MiTT Team Leader that is a pretty good question. I was talking to one of the physical therapists here on base an 0-5 Commander who was blown away that the DVA rates those of us with back injuries by using ROM, which is basically as useless as the BMI when doing body coomposition standards. She said that just the time of day and temperature could cause a 5 degree difference in ROM or if you had a muscle relaxer the day before, or a contizone shot and that it does not reflect the degree disability based on ROM. Any ways I'd also be interested to know what x-rays and MRI's hold weight with the PEB or DVA? To me it seems that the DVA only looks at thier own C&P exams and nothing else. In my case, I had a ROM test done the day before in the event that this happens, only because I was warned by fellow service members currently going through the IDES process.

My "daily living" issues are less with my ROM limitations than with the constant nerve pain I deal with. There is no difinitive test for nerve issues besides a Nerve conduction study or EMG, which I have had both done on the same day by different providers with different results. The C&P examiner noted my pain as mild with "wolly sensory numbness".

At this point I am hoping that the IPEB and DVA officer look through all my documents and can see the difference between reality and the C&P examiners interpretation.

The ROM issues with people who have back injuries are evident all over this forum, its a shame the DVA hasn't changed the rating percentages since WW2. For instance Sleep Apnea rated @ 50% but a ROM of 30 degrees @ 20% (I guess because it would cost them way too much money, after all as you said... the work we do on a daily basis is back breaking. literally.

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, I too would be interested to find out further answers on if the DVA or PEB view the test results of MRI's and x-rays and what weight they hold.
 

OllieT

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@usarmy68e I waited two weeks before contacting my PEBLO as I had my C&P exam done by an outside provider QTC, so it takes a little time for it to reach your PEBLO. I hope your C&P outcome was better than mine. lol. best of luck.
 

Former MiTT Team Leader

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OllieT- glad found interesting. Hopefully ChaplainCharlie or GS Fowler will chime in at some point!

You as well have brought up interesting topics:

1) Rating Schedule little changed since WWII. Why- as can remember VSO's lobbying get this upgraded as long been in horrid US DVA System, with little to no effect! So obviously the folks- as the band RUSH sings, in "high places" know it is an issue but as of yet have not addressed it so unknown reason- even after the new longest conflict US History-Afghanistan!

2) Pain- think nail on the head here and should be considered well over flexion, etc..... Per site founder there was new ruling on this not to long ago....

3) Degradation of joints and vertebrae as evidenced by X-Ray/MRI history! Know vets whom see both US DVA and civilian providers whom can simply look at X-Rays over period of time and tell things either getting worse or stabilizing- hence the term "degenerative arthritis" I do believe...????

One must simply admit that Practice,Art and Science of Medicine has made numerous considerable strides since the end of World War II so what does that say about US DVA/BVA not keeping pace to any degree what so ever??????

Best I have ever heard it put- "Being in Combat Arms for most of one's young life is tantamount to putting ones body through same stress as Professional Football Player!" (how many over 40(+) year Professional Football Players does one see...)

So yes, I agree with you OllieT, for those "in the line" (so to speak) most of their military career, it it is in fact back-breaking, bone crunching, and sometimes flat out painful work both physically, spiritually and mentally! Glad found helpful OllieT.....

PS: How does one explain to those, whom have not lived the daily grind of a simple US Combat Arms units, what life is really like......on a daily and weekly basis both in Garrison, field maneuvers, and combat?????? Know those whom have tried with civilian friends and family, and they by and large simply think it is all made up.....?????

Life "in the line" must simply be experienced- not observed from a far-for more than a month or three to perhaps gain some insight into what goes on on a daily basis in said "line"..... all the writing, giving short examples, tying to explain family, etc... in the world cannot convey what the daily "grind" US Soldiers, NCO's and Officers go through on any given day of active duty- from Motor Pool/Maintenance Operations, Administrative Issues, Training and Deployment "down range"...... simply to name a few! Have simply known officers and NCO' whom claimed got more "sleep-rest" in the filed, even at 1/3 to 50% Security level, than in simple Garrison- where actually nothing or very little is simple.... as all are competing same few limited resources, etc.....for their units and soldiers!
 
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usarmy68e

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@usarmy68e I waited two weeks before contacting my PEBLO as I had my C&P exam done by an outside provider QTC, so it takes a little time for it to reach your PEBLO. I hope your C&P outcome was better than mine. lol. best of luck.
Thanks, I don't know after the exams it appears pretty plain Jane, I don't feel like it went either good or bad, it just happened. I did all of my appointments (4) in one day so I feel like I shouldn't be stressed out until I actually get to see some results.

Thank you for your positive outlook and I hope that you get some better results yourself.
 

oddpedestrian

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They did go after a contractor that gave high PTSD % exams and convinced the contractor to drop the provider no evidence of the VA going after low-ball examiners...it came out on the Inspector General report on VA contracted C&P exams.
 

Navy757

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As already stated a singe reading of ROM seems to be a poor indicator of true disabilities. And reading story after story on here about VA CP exams something really should be done. Your story mirrored my exact experience. I cannot drive long distance stand longer than 5 minutes, my spouse was at my exam and witnessed the true readings and she see the sleepless nights and a young man just totally broken. When I got my readings back I was shocked as well. And I guess if I was stronger and had more energy maybe I would have fought them. But I didn't because I am exhausted and fear what the optics would look like, fearing of getting label as "that difficult patient" would take credibility away from my other conditions. I really feel like the VA knows this so you are damn if you do and damned if you don't. So I chose the easier path of just being damned and accepted the ROM findings, I am too f----ing tired of all this and just want to put my energy into finding something that will actually give me some relief. I do feel guilty about it as if we all raised our voices together it would be stronger, but in the end I chose what I could handle.
 

gsfowler

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@Former MiTT Team Leader

To answer you question regarding the imaging, they do not really com into play when it comes to rating conditions of the spine. The ratings are derived from 38 CFR Book 3. You make excellent points about the system, however it is the current law.

Some musculoskeletal systems are rated by X-ray, the CFR points this out directly.

There is only one way to change the law, and that is the federal legislative process.

We can discuss the potential injustice on an internet forum, or we can contribute to the legislative process.
 
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