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Ratings Of The Spine


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#1 bigoc

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 09:39 AM

I have recently received an x-ray report that shows injury to the spine in the Cervical, Thoracic, and lumbar.  I am currently rated at 20% for my neck based on a cervical MRI.  The injury is from a parachute accident(service connected).   I did seek medical help in service which is documented(how I got my cervical rating).  I do not have any limit in the range of motion, just pain.  I do not understand how they rate the spine.  I will list my x-ray report. 
 Any idea of what kind of rating I should expect and insist on based on the x-ray, pain, and little if any loss of range of motion?
  • Cervical Spine:  Reversal of cervical lordosis, spondylitic changes.  Clinical correlation recommended(whatever this means)
  • Thoracic Spine:  Levoscoliosis.
  • Lumbar Spine:  Straightening of lordosis. OA at L4-L5 and L5-S1 


#2 john999

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 10:09 AM

I think it is range of motin, but Rentalguy knows the facts and he will chime in I am sure. If you have chronic pain disorder that is rated as an emotional disorder.

#3 jbasser

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 11:56 AM

[quote name='bigoc' date='Jul 13 2009, 11:39 AM' post='154293']
I have recently received an x-ray report that shows injury to the spine in the Cervical, Thoracic, and lumbar. I am currently rated at 20% for my neck based on a cervical MRI. The injury is from a parachute accident(service connected). I did seek medical help in service which is documented(how I got my cervical rating). I do not have any limit in the range of motion, just pain. I do not understand how they rate the spine. I will list my x-ray report.
Any idea of what kind of rating I should expect and insist on based on the x-ray, pain, and little if any loss of range of motion?
  • Cervical Spine: Reversal of cervical lordosis, spondylitic changes. Clinical correlation recommended(whatever this means)
  • Thoracic Spine: Levoscoliosis.
  • Lumbar Spine: Straightening of lordosis. OA at L4-L5 and L5-S1


1: cervical lordosis is the curvature of the bones in the neck.
Reversed means it has transgressed the oppisite of what it should be.
You have arthritic changes compared to another exam. Clinical correlation is asking another clinician their view on your condition.

2: levo scolosis: spine is bending left or right not forward or back.

3> The curvature of the back is straightened,

The Va will rate on Range of motion. Know your ranges and compare it to the regs.

J

Edited by jbasser, 13 July 2009 - 11:56 AM.


#4 rentalguy1

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 12:36 PM

based on range of motion, or on incapacitating episodes (dr prescribed bed rest) if rated for intervertabral disc syndrome (IVDS). Spondylitic changes is IVDS. In layman's terms it is arhritic changes of the vertebrea.

#5 bigoc

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 05:43 PM

I was always wondered what the VA rated me for with my neck injury.  I do not have any loss of range of motion or incapacitating episodes.  I do however have several levels of diminished disk hight and narrowing of the spinal column per an MRI reading.  I guess this is what I am rated on.  It seems that they will throw a rating your way if you have some kind of diagnostic testing that shows an injury.  It is not always found in the rating criteria unless I am missing this one.  Thanks for the insight.

#6 carlie

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 05:59 PM

bigoc,
You can call the 800 # and ask VA what Diagnostic Codes
you are rated under. They can usually provide correct information
an this type of question.
carlie

#7 rentalguy1

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 06:09 PM

You are most likely rated on the old criteria, which was prior to 2002. It was much different then.

#8 bigoc

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 03:16 PM

I was also wondering about how to claim the rest of the spine?  
Since this new x-ray report shows injury to the entire spine should I just list spine and leave it general or list the different sections?
My neck claim I specifically listed cervical disk protrusion which may have been a mistake since I may have limited myself in what body parts the VA rated.  I worked out well for me getting a 20% rating for the cervical spine but in the process I might have done better not not be specific in the claimed conditions section.  Any advice on how to word the claimed conditions section for the rest of the spine would be great.  Thanks a bunch guys(non-gender).

I have recently received an x-ray report that shows injury to the spine in the Cervical, Thoracic, and lumbar.  I am currently rated at 20% for my neck based on a cervical MRI.  The injury is from a parachute accident(service connected).   I did seek medical help in service which is documented(how I got my cervical rating).  I do not have any limit in the range of motion, just pain.  I do not understand how they rate the spine.  I will list my x-ray report.   Any idea of what kind of rating I should expect and insist on based on the x-ray, pain, and little if any loss of range of motion?

  • Cervical Spine:  Reversal of cervical lordosis, spondylitic changes.  Clinical correlation recommended(whatever this means)
  • Thoracic Spine:  Levoscoliosis.
  • Lumbar Spine:  Straightening of lordosis. OA at L4-L5 and L5-S1 



#9 jbasser

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 04:23 PM

The cervical spine is a separate bodily segement than the Lumbar and Thoracic spine.
The Thoracic and Lumbar spine are considered the same segement.

J

#10 sharon

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 04:51 PM

All three segments of the spine are rated separately. The different parts of the spine can be affected by each other. Speak wiht you doctor to see if the conditions are secondary to your service connected back condition.

#11 jbasser

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 05:26 PM

Sharon, the c spine is rated separate. The Thoracic and lumbar spine are combined. The VA uses the term thoracolumbar that is a combination of the two.


General Rating Formula for Diseases and Injuries of the Spine(For diagnostic codes 5235 to 5243 unless 5243 is evaluated under the Formula for Rating Intervertebral Disc Syndrome Based on Incapacitating Episodes):With or without symptoms such as pain (whther or not it radiates), stiffness, or aching in the area of the spine affected by residuals of injury or diseaseUnfavorable ankylosis of the entire spine100Unfavorable ankylosis of the entire thoracolumbar spine50Unfavorable ankylosis of the entire cervical spine; or, forward flexion of the thoracolumbar spine 30 degrees or less; or, favorable ankylosis of the entire thoracolumbar spine40Forward flexion of the cervical spine 15 degrees or less; or, favorable ankylosis of the entire cervical spine30Forward flexion of the thoracolumbar spine greater than 30 degrees but not greater than 60 degrees; or, forward flexion of the cervical spine greater than 15 degrees but not greater than 30 degrees; or, the combined range of motion of the thoracolumbar spine not greater than 120 degrees; or, the combined range of motion of the cervical spine not greater than 170 degrees; or, muscle spasm or guarding severe enough to result in an abnormal gait or abnormal spinal contour such as scoliosis, reversed lordosis, or abnormal kyphosis20Forward flexion of the thoracolumbar spine greater than 60 degrees but not greater than 85 degrees; or, forward flexion of the cervical spine greater than 30 degrees but not greater than 40 degrees; or, combined range of motion of the thoracolumbar spine greater than 120 degrees but not greater than 235 degrees; or, combined range of motion of the cervical spine greater than 170 degrees but not greater than 335 degrees; or, muscle spasm, guarding, or localized tenderness not resulting in abnormal gait or abnormal spinal contour; or, vertebral body fracture with loss of 50 percent or more of the height

Edited by jbasser, 14 July 2009 - 05:28 PM.


#12 militarynurse

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 06:38 PM

Sharon, the c spine is rated separate. The Thoracic and lumbar spine are combined. The VA uses the term thoracolumbar that is a combination of the two.


General Rating Formula for Diseases and Injuries of the Spine(For diagnostic codes 5235 to 5243 unless 5243 is evaluated under the Formula for Rating Intervertebral Disc Syndrome Based on Incapacitating Episodes):With or without symptoms such as pain (whther or not it radiates), stiffness, or aching in the area of the spine affected by residuals of injury or diseaseUnfavorable ankylosis of the entire spine100Unfavorable ankylosis of the entire thoracolumbar spine50Unfavorable ankylosis of the entire cervical spine; or, forward flexion of the thoracolumbar spine 30 degrees or less; or, favorable ankylosis of the entire thoracolumbar spine40Forward flexion of the cervical spine 15 degrees or less; or, favorable ankylosis of the entire cervical spine30Forward flexion of the thoracolumbar spine greater than 30 degrees but not greater than 60 degrees; or, forward flexion of the cervical spine greater than 15 degrees but not greater than 30 degrees; or, the combined range of motion of the thoracolumbar spine not greater than 120 degrees; or, the combined range of motion of the cervical spine not greater than 170 degrees; or, muscle spasm or guarding severe enough to result in an abnormal gait or abnormal spinal contour such as scoliosis, reversed lordosis, or abnormal kyphosis20Forward flexion of the thoracolumbar spine greater than 60 degrees but not greater than 85 degrees; or, forward flexion of the cervical spine greater than 30 degrees but not greater than 40 degrees; or, combined range of motion of the thoracolumbar spine greater than 120 degrees but not greater than 235 degrees; or, combined range of motion of the cervical spine greater than 170 degrees but not greater than 335 degrees; or, muscle spasm, guarding, or localized tenderness not resulting in abnormal gait or abnormal spinal contour; or, vertebral body fracture with loss of 50 percent or more of the height



Does the "thoracolumbar spine" include the sacral spine/sacrum and coccyx?

#13 jbasser

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 07:00 PM

T1 to L5. I dont think the Sacrum and coccyx are included but I may be wrong.

J