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#143206 - 05/19/09 06:49 PM Spondylolysis & Spondylolisthesis rated at 10%
rpmonarch Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 05/19/09
Posts: 2
Hello,

I just received my rating from the Informal PEB and they rated my grade 2 spondylolysis & spondylolisthesis of the L5-S1 at only 10%. I expected this but believe it should be rated higher. First they rated me under code 5242 for Degenerative Disc Disease and not for the Spondy. I am able to bend forward almost all the way, it hurts a little but doable, but I can't come up very well but since I can go forward they say I am good. The right side of my body is tense and tight and I cannot turn to the right anywhere near as far as the left. My findings say I have normal strength and normal gait which is not true. I can't carry much of anything heavy, my profile says 5 lbs. and I can't walk for more than about 400m or sit for more than 15 min. I limp when I do walk and use a cane a portion of the time depending on the day and distance I have to walk. The back pain has also caused me to have bad knee problems but they won't rate that at all. I have also been given a TENS machine for my back to use at home. I have gone through all medical options including PT, chiropractor, medical massage, and the chronic pain clinic.

Is it plausible to appeal the Informal PEB from the Army and get a higher rating (preferably 30% so that I can get on the TDRL)? What do I do and where do I get started? My life has changed dramatically because of this, I feel I deserve more than 10%.

What should I include in the appeal and what code should I be rated under?


Edited by rpmonarch (05/19/09 06:49 PM)

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#143242 - 05/20/09 08:48 AM Re: Spondylolysis & Spondylolisthesis rated at 10% [Re: rpmonarch]
Free10 Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 11/19/07
Posts: 81
Loc: Hobbs NM US
Don't know about PEB's but NEVER move further once you feel pain in testing because it is a test of range of motion WITHOUT pain. They will usually want you to move further but don't (DISOBEY) and tell them there is pain, and allow any pain you feel in the expressions on your face for testing. If it is like the VA they are told to look for this to confirm it is true. Get letters or statements from doctors, chiropractor, family or people who know you about what the observe or know and have them date and sign them, and turn copies of those in for your records and do not delay. Your time in service is coming to an end. There is no cure and it will get progressively worse with time. Make copies of all medical records NOW if you can get them and send them and any other evidence including statements to a safe place, for after service.

I would go up the chain of command seeking help on this and that can be higher ranking NCO's or officers including CO's or higher and don't forget the IG if you think they are not following the rules. You can go up the chain requesting to see them without stating why and the IG is there, to make sure everyone follows the rules and have immense power. I would also talk with one of more VSO's (Veteran Service Officers) that normally work on VA cases to help and prepare you for entry into the VA system after service and they probably can give you help or advise on the in service part. No one can actually do the work needed outside of you but they can help--Dwight

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#143338 - 05/21/09 10:51 AM Re: Spondylolysis & Spondylolisthesis rated at 10% [Re: rpmonarch]
bigadams65 Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 23
They also tried to put me out on 10%, also tried under that category but I got military attorney, army rhemotologist went back to the board with me and I was able to get 30%, heard of others though got 60%...weird it seemed to me..but I was happy with 30..it got me medical and that ID card. In Summer 09 AS news it says we are to be rated under DC 5009 -5002...that this is a system wide issue.

I had severe iritis and uveitis and my wife was having to read to me and drive me back and forth to work AND I was a Warrant officer in charge of a motor pool!

I am getting ready to ask about this DC 5009 -5002.

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#143389 - 05/21/09 06:04 PM Re: Spondylolysis & Spondylolisthesis rated at 10% [Re: bigadams65]
rpmonarch Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 05/19/09
Posts: 2
Thanks for the info. You guys have helped a lot and responded quickly. I have not gone to a rhemotologist but I suppose I could ask and give it a shot. I have gone to an orthopedic surgeon but he really just told me he wasn't going to do surgery so no need to talk further.

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#145479 - 06/08/09 01:41 PM Re: Spondylolysis & Spondylolisthesis rated at 10% [Re: rpmonarch]
TrudiD Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 01/13/08
Posts: 188
Loc: Michigan
spondylolysis & spondylothesis are not always a part of spondylitis. two different things going on.

I was dx with spondylolisis but got nothing from VA or Navy, so you're one up on me! I was told by the VA that my spondylolisis was congenital and not ratable... making me think of appealing that decision.
_________________________
~ Trudi
35 yo mum to 5 kids!
dx with 'probable AS' in the middle of 1995 in the Navy. positive inflammatory spondyloarthritis dx by the end of that year. no meds really work yet. am trying sulfasalazine plus a lot of alternative therapies.
www.madebytrudi.blogspot.com

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#145662 - 06/09/09 08:17 PM Re: Spondylolysis & Spondylolisthesis rated at 10% [Re: TrudiD]
Free10 Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 11/19/07
Posts: 81
Loc: Hobbs NM US
Originally Posted By: TrudiD
spondylolysis & spondylothesis are not always a part of spondylitis. two different things going on.

I was dx with spondylolisis but got nothing from VA or Navy, so you're one up on me! I was told by the VA that my spondylolisis was congenital and not ratable... making me think of appealing that decision.


Appeal Trudi APPEAL LOL

First of all the diagnosis could change and second of all it is still rateable if you show aggravation or cause. Look here to this case and thread

http://www.hadit.com/forums/lofiversion/index.php/t10728.html

The thing about appealing is it keeps the case alive for back pay and "buys time" to figure out your next move and how this might be a case regardless of what the VA or others might advise to the contrary--Dwight

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#145664 - 06/09/09 08:24 PM Re: Spondylolysis & Spondylolisthesis rated at 10% [Re: rpmonarch]
Free10 Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 11/19/07
Posts: 81
Loc: Hobbs NM US
Originally Posted By: rpmonarch
Thanks for the info. You guys have helped a lot and responded quickly. I have not gone to a rhemotologist but I suppose I could ask and give it a shot. I have gone to an orthopedic surgeon but he really just told me he wasn't going to do surgery so no need to talk further.


Yes ask the local VA doc if you go to an outpatient clinic because a VA hospital is to far to get you an appointment to talk to a rheumatologist about your disease and problems and tell them your history with it and see what they recommend medically for you including maybe more exams--Dwight

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#146920 - 06/24/09 03:30 PM Re: Spondylolysis & Spondylolisthesis rated at 10% [Re: Free10]
TrudiD Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 01/13/08
Posts: 188
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: Free10
Originally Posted By: TrudiD
spondylolysis & spondylothesis are not always a part of spondylitis. two different things going on.

I was dx with spondylolisis but got nothing from VA or Navy, so you're one up on me! I was told by the VA that my spondylolisis was congenital and not ratable... making me think of appealing that decision.


Appeal Trudi APPEAL LOL

First of all the diagnosis could change and second of all it is still rateable if you show aggravation or cause. Look here to this case and thread

http://www.hadit.com/forums/lofiversion/index.php/t10728.html

The thing about appealing is it keeps the case alive for back pay and "buys time" to figure out your next move and how this might be a case regardless of what the VA or others might advise to the contrary--Dwight


problem is that was 12 years ago. sigh. I was young and didn't know any better. I am working with a lawyer right now to get my current NOD & appeals done correcly and I will talk about that issue from 12 years ago.
_________________________
~ Trudi
35 yo mum to 5 kids!
dx with 'probable AS' in the middle of 1995 in the Navy. positive inflammatory spondyloarthritis dx by the end of that year. no meds really work yet. am trying sulfasalazine plus a lot of alternative therapies.
www.madebytrudi.blogspot.com

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#231860 - 04/22/12 08:04 AM Re: Spondylolysis & Spondylolisthesis rated at 10% [Re: TrudiD]
NavyMan_with_AS Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 04/22/12
Posts: 11
Loc: Georgia, USA
Ok, here it goes, I just had a c&p done. My case started in 2003 when I was ADSEP'd from the Navy, been fighting the VA since. Here is the modified copy of my latest C&P.

I got copies of my complete C-file from the VA. The c&p exam I had in 2004, the doctor stated that my back pain was more likely than not related to my service in the Navy. But I was denied service connection because there was not an official diagnosis, just stated back pain.

I also had a C&P exam on 16 Mar 2012, where the Dr. states that my Ankylosing Spondylitis is more likely than not related to my service. The following is a breakdown of the dr notes from the recent C&P:

Bilateral Hip Condition:

R hip flexion : 20
R hip extension: 5
L hip flexion : 20
L hip extension : 5

Painful motion begins at 5 on both
Abduction lost beyond 10 degrees yes (Both)
Adduction limited - can not cross legs yes (Both)

Rotation limited - Veteran cant toe-out more than 15 degrees yes (Both)

Patient in severe pain, repetitive use ROM not completed

Functional loss of hip and thigh - yes (Both)

Less movement than normal, Weakened movement, Excess fatigability, pain on movement, instability of station, disturbance of locomotion, interference with sitting, standing, and or weight-bearing these are all marked for both Hips.

localized tenderness or pain to palpitation for joints/soft tissue of either hip (yes - Both)

Muscle strength test -
Hip Flexion 4/5 on both
Hip abduction and hip extension 3/5 on both

Images were taken, degenerative arthritis is documented in both hips, and Ankylosing Spondylitis seen on x-ray results.

Cervical spine condition:

ROM:
forward flexion ends: 20
painful motion: 15

extension ends : 5
painful : 5

right and left lateral flexion ends : 5
painful motion : 5

right and left lateral rotation ends: 10
painful : 10

did not do repetitive ROM test, too much pain

Functional loss:

less movement than normal, weakened movement, excess fatigability, pain on movement, interference with sitting, standing, weight bearing

localized tenderness - yes



reflex exams:
biceps : 1+ (both)
triceps : 0 (both)
brachioradials : 1+ (both)

sensory all normal

x-rays show Ankylosing Spondylitis


Thoracolumbar spine condition:

forward flexion : 10 - ends with pain
extension - 10 - ends with pain

right lateral / left lateral flexion : 5 - ends with pain

right / left lateral rotation : 10 - with pain

did not complete repetitions

Functional loss: yes
less movement than normal, excess fatigability, instability of station, disturbance of locomotion, interference with sitting, standing, and/or weight bearing

Localized tenderness ; yes

guarding / muscle spasm of thoraculumbar spine (
yes, abnormal gait

Muscle strength : Hip flexion; knee extension;ankle plantar flexion; ankle dorsiflexion ; great toe extension - all 4/5 on both

reflexes : knee and ankle ; 0 - both sides

all sensory normal

Radiculopathy yes: l/r lower extremity ; moderate (both) paresthesias and or dysesthesias ; moderate (both)

nerve roots involved: L2/L3/L4 (both)(femoral nerve) ; L4/L5/S1/S2/S3 (sciatic nerve) (both)

severity of radiculopathy and side affected : Moderate - Both

Intervertebral disc syndrome and incapacitating episodes, yes to both

Images: Ankylosing Spondylitis and Scoliosis noted on thoracic and lumbar spine x-ray results

Pain and decreased ROM affect the veterans ability to work

Medical opinion of VA Examiner:

patient was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis in April 2011, However, symptoms began in 2001, during his enlistment. This is clearly supported when reviewing his medical records. The veteran was seen on multiple occasions for his ongoing back pain, but never officially diagnosed until recently.

The veteran's condition (back, bilateral hip) is at least as likely as not incurred in or caused by his military service.



Sorry this is so long, but I wanted to get an accurate opinion, and to do so, I have to give the full picture.

Do you have an opinion on what I may get as far as service connection goes? A best case scenario will be fine.
_________________________
Losing is NOT an OPTION! Never give up hope, because A.S. never gives up! Always remember, stand as tall and proud as you can, no matter who you are, you are SOMEONE!

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#233153 - 05/12/12 06:44 AM Re: Spondylolysis & Spondylolisthesis rated at 10% [Re: rpmonarch]
Susanhasas Offline
First time visitor

Registered: 03/30/12
Posts: 1
Loc: TX,
I've got a question. My daughter who is 16, was Dx'ed this year with AS. She wants to go into the Naval ROTC in college. Is she eligible for the military with AS? I don't want to discourage her, but I want her to be realistic about her disease process.
_________________________
Susan

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