It is my understanding that the VA rates the Thoracolumbar as one segment. Basically this means if one part of the Thoracic spine is messed up and later on in life the lumbar starts to mess up then it is suppose to be rated as the same as if it was the thoracic spine because there is no Thoracic and lumbar separation in the diagnostic codes...Correct?
I've been looking at all my stuff and I think I missed something and so has the VA of course. After the accident in service it was my thoracic spine area that gave me huge problems. Then within a year all the pain progressed to my lower back and cervical spine. While in service the XRays showed degenerative changes in my thoracic spine. I was medically discharged for mechanical lower back pain (trust me if I knew then what I knew now, they should have retired me because of my cervical spine also)....
Fast forward to today. I currently have Osteoarthritis in CSpine, Thoracic Spine and Lumbar Spine. But in my Thoracic Spine you can see the vertebrae basically deteriorating, I think its called Schmorl's nodes which are small protrusions of vertebral disk tissue that bulge through the ends of weakened vertebrae.
In 2011, after realizing the VA never connected nor even mentioned my Thoracic Spine issues I file a claim on that particular issue. Well the C&P examiner said that it was an inservice diagnosis and that it was 100% service connected.
So, if my thoracic spine is serviced connected with current Osteoarthritis should the VA have SC'd my Osteoarthritis/DDD in my Lumbar with the same claim when in fact they knew I had DDD back then and I had a similar active claim and since they are ONE segment? This is like saying we if a person had two breaks in one bone and they SC'd one break but not the other.
Here is the definition of Thoracolumbar: