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Service Connected Diagnosis's

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12 replies to this topic

#1 Dale Jr. 8

Dale Jr. 8

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 05:25 AM

I have a service connection that is diagnosed as lower back pain ICD-9-CM 724.2. I recently had an MRI which shows 2 ruptured disks and 2 bulging disks pressing on the left side nerve roots. First question, will VA consider this part of the service connected LBP and second question if they do consider it part of the LBP do I stand a good chance of getting a secondary service connection for sciatica? It seems that VA uses some very general diagnosis codes. I will have my Primary care update the diagnosis codes tomorrow when I see him. Dale Jr 8

#2 john999


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Posted 29 November 2006 - 07:09 AM


You might go to a orthopedist and get him to review your service medical records and write an opinion to service connect the disc problems to the LB disorder. You want a board certified specialist to write this opinion. This is how you beat them. The VA will probably say your GP is not a specialist and may over rule his/opinion at a C&P exam. They have a harder time shooting down a board certified specialist.

#3 Guest_rickb54_*GuestMember

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 09:25 AM


I am going to take the long way to answer you question.

Initally I injured my lower back in a military vehicle accident 1971, the injury was rated as a back strain at 10%, when I was first rated none of the fancy test were done, and I was rated purley on the symptoms in my active duty medical records.

Later I kept reinjuring my back when in 1997, I fell of a ladder at my civil service job. I ended up having xrays, ct scams, mri and even a myleogram done. These test indicated that I had hernitated disc at the L3-L4, L4-L5, L5-S1 levels. I also was tripping on my left foot and had a pain down my left side. It turned out after I had a nerve conductive study done that I did in fact have siactiac nerve damage and drop foot.

When I was finally rated in 1999, my rating when from 10% to 60% and was changed from back strain to Degenerative disc disease. At that time the sicatic nerve damage was not rated seperately. I was also awarded a K award for the drop foot, and was given the vehicle adapted grant with adapted equipment.

Today they va rates these conditions seperately or as one problem which ever affords the veteran a higher rating.

Based on my own condition and my history I am sure the VA will in fact re-rate your condition as DDD.

I suggest that your request your doctor to give you some of the test I mentioned to further substaniate the fact that you have siatiac nerve damage , and DDD. THe VA accepted all of my test as being factual when I went for my C/P exam the only thing they did was another xray and asked me to bend.

I ended up with TDIU because civil service forced me into a medical retirement, as I could no longer climb ladders and such.

hope this helps to answer your question,
best of luck

#4 Dale Jr. 8

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 03:11 PM

Thanks for the replies. I will have my primary care doc order the tests that you mentioned. It is hard to see an othopedist at the Va in Fayetteville N.C. I suspect that I have had DDD all along but that doesn't show up on xrays real well. Thanks again Dale Jr. 8

#5 john999


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Posted 29 November 2006 - 03:35 PM


Were you on OWCP for a while? Too bad you could not get OWCP and VA at the same time but since it is the same part of the body they would say that is duel compensation. You are better off on VA, and OPM rather than just OWCP. I was injured at the post office many times. People think the VA is bad. OWCP is like being consigned to hell and no P&T.

#6 Guest_rickb54_*GuestMember

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 06:26 PM


No I just burned up my six leave, OWPC people were a real pain to work with... and even it they approved you for comp, theystill tried to find another reason to deny it. The union doesn't even seem to help in this area.I did ok, because I was retired and between FERS, and SSD I was taken care of well. Depending how you look at it, I was lucky the back injury was already service connected I just waited 6 months to get an increased rating and TDIU from the time I was forced to retire.

#7 Guest_rickb54_*GuestMember

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 06:30 PM

Dale, Jr.

IN 1999. I lived in Hope MIlls, NC about 8 miles from the Fayetteville VA Medical Center. Dr. Myers was the doctor I was refering to. If he is still there he is one of the better doctors I have had to deal with. Also Dr. Lee in Durham VA was my nurolgist....Both of these guys have it together. Since I moved I have not had that level of care ever again.

Best of luck

#8 Wingnut57


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Posted 05 February 2007 - 08:45 AM

Can someone direct me if I am in the wrong topic. Denied service connection for knees, working at US Postal Service 20+ years, degenerative arthritis, appealing VA decision and contemplating filing for sheduled award (occupational disease) with OWCP. VA has given me nothing so far. Would OWCP claim interfere as dual compensation or show the VA condition severity. Anyone have experiences with both agencies at the same time? Thanks...

#9 john999


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Posted 05 February 2007 - 09:34 AM


You can start your own topic on this subject. The answer is that getting VA compensation and OWCP for the same injury can cause a problem. You cannot get OWCP and VA compensation increase at the same time. The rules are in the OWCP Procedure manual. There are others here who had issues with the OWCP. VA has little to say about it but it is the OWCP you have to really worry about. They check up on your VA disability.

#10 Guest_rickb54_*GuestMember

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 08:31 AM

I was wondering what has been wrong with my left leg for so long after Vietnam. I have seen by a private Neurologist that only gave me pain pills. I have been tested by the local VAMC and they found periphial nerve damage in the left leg, via electro-stimulation testing. I have pain down my left leg, constant, 24-7. I also have drop foot in my left foot and keep triping on it as I stand to walk from sitting. My left leg was wounded in Vietnam, 1968, 3 places, shrapnel still remains in the leg in 3 places as shown by x-ray and CT scans. The VAMC said in their report that the periphial nerve damage is most likely due to the combat wounds of the leg, but ...... ???

In July 2005, I finally filed a VA claim for the left leg problems, but haven't received a rating yet. Since what rickb54 described, below, I am wondering if I have Sciatic Nerve Damage to the spine and possibly Degenerative Nerve Damage (DDD)!?! Ever since Vietnam, I have had to favor the left leg because it cramps and has pain. I wonder if I have this Sciatic nerve problem and possibly DDD. Unfortunately, none of the MDs have ever thought to look for it. They looked at the leg as the problem instead of the spine. Wonder if there is a possible connection between the leg problem and the possible spine problem? I'm not over-weight and can bend over without a problem. Its the constant pain down the left leg from the exterior main top area of the leg above the knee, like shooting sharp pain and numbness.

??? Hmmmmmm ? My Father was a Chiropractor and I understand a little about back problems, just a little, and how spine problems can cause other problems. Of course, maybe the spine problems were precipitated by the leg wounds in combat

because I have always had to favor the left leg during walking, etc ??? Could the spine problems be SCed to the leg problems?

Comments, please?

It is my understanding that the only way to get siatiac nerve damage is if a disc has inpinged (pushed on) the nerve root at the L4-L5 level at the spine. I don't know how shrapnel would case direct damage to the nerve unless to cut the nerve, in which case I don't think you would have pain down the entire leg. This condition does not cause cramping. Siatice nerve damage does not normally cause 24/7 pain, it is an intermitten pain, that may not be present for days, or even months. You can have drop foot with out a spinal nerve injury.

http://www.spineuniv...rticle2620.html for drop foot

http://www.spine-hea...atica/sc01.html for siatiac nerve damage

#11 john999


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Posted 07 February 2007 - 10:27 AM

You know you should probably get a nerve test. It is the test you get for PN. You don't want to bring that up at the VA since if they can blame your spine for the leg problems that would hurt your SC claim, unless you hurt your spine in the Army. A neurologist should give you this test as a routine thing. Don't use the VA unless you are sure it is an SC condition.

#12 LarryJ


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Posted 08 February 2007 - 05:21 PM

An Osteopath has an MD degree

Well, I don't really mean to "split hairs", 68VV, but they have D.O. degrees..............but, they do have all the "Rights of Practice" that an M.D. does.
And, on a personal note, my family physician is a D.O. and we have been his patients for about 10 years now and I would NOT go to anyone else.

#13 Hoppy


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Posted 12 February 2007 - 11:18 PM

When advancing a claim that involves injuries in service and injuries post service you have to be very careful that they do not attribute your current condition to "intercurrent" injuries. That is they will claim the post service injury is actually the cause of the current disability. They did this to me on one of my claims. It is really helpful if you were service connected at some rating level before the post service injury occured.