Va disability rating for cervical spine

I have memory problems and as some of you may know I highly recommend Evernote and have for years. Though I've found that writing helps me remember more. I ran across Tom's videos on youtube, I'm a bit geeky and I also use an IPad so if you take notes on your IPad or you are thinking of going paperless check it out.

I'm really happy with it, I use it with a program called Noteshelf 2. Click here to purchase your digital journal. Get the book here. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. Give a financial gift to help with the upkeep of HadIt.

Gifts are not tax deductible, they are just gifts. Hucast21 posted an answer to a question, March Galen Rogers posted an answer to a question, March Tbird posted a post in a topic, July 11, Asked by Charleese. My husband's BVA decision states residuals of a herniated cervical disc and discectomy are the result of service connected residuals of a left tibia fracture. It also states under ORDER that Entitlement to service connection for residuals of a cervical disc herniation and discectomy as secondary to srvice-connected residuals of a left tibia fracture is granted.

They sent it back to RO to be rated. However, BVA states in their decision: "With respect to the Veteran's claim for TDIU, the claim is inextricably intertwined with the grant of service connection for a cervical spine disability discussed above. The Board notes that the Veteran's residuals of a left tibia fracture, left knee recurrent subluxation, and left knee tender scar are disabilities of a common etiology, and therefore meet the schedular criteria for a grant of TDIU under 38 C.

Section 4. Thee is a diagnostic code for Cervical Fusion. What levels did he have fused. It also applies another rating if he has radiculopathy issues in his shoulders, arms. The ratings are based on his range of motion. Since he has been examined, you can compare his actual ROM from the exam to the listed ROM parameters in the title 38 cfr 4. I think this is enough to put him over the IU hump. Over a three week period, he experienced progressive quadripaersis and in August was admitted to a private hospital and diagnosed with a severe cervical disc herniation.

A cervical discectomy was performed nd the Veteran demonstrated improved leg, aqrm aand hand function. The most recent records from the Veteran's private physician included a December MRI report showing numerous central disc protrusions along the cervical spine with central canal narrowing. Therfore, the record establishes the presence of a current cervical spine disability. The only ROM that was done was done on his service connected left knee in June of boy his othropedic doctor and he states: The patient, on examination, has old well-healed scars over the left knee.

Range of motion of the knee is about 10 degrees to about 80 degrees. He has good alignment. Both knees have crepitus. The right knee has more crepitus and pain on the medial side.Despite having severe impairment and a lot of pain, veterans often find that VA rates their back injuries at 10 or 20 percent.

va disability rating for cervical spine

A lot of veterans feel that this 10 or 20 percent rating is low for how much their back disability affects them. Is that rating correct or should it be higher? In this article, I will discuss how VA rates back disabilities and the ratings your can receive. I will focus on the thoracolumbar spine. The thoracolumbar spine is what most people refer to as their back.

It is your middle and lower back. The other part of your spine is what we would commonly call your neck. VA chooses to use medical terminology and refers to your neck as your cervical spine. Look for me to discuss how VA rates cervical spine disabilities in future articles. For disabilities of the spine, VA uses diagnostic codes between and The formula that VA uses to rate back disabilities with a diagnosis code between and is the same. That formula actually covers both the cervical and thoracolumbar parts of the spine.

This article will only focus on the portion of that formula that relates to the thoracolumbar spine. The VA diagnostic codes for disabilities of the spine primarily focus on ankylosis. Ankylosis basically means that the joint is stiff or will not move. So, spinal disabilities focus on the lack of mobility or range of motion.

Technically, the highest VA rating for a thoracolumbar spinal disability is 50 percent. Because of that, qualifying for a 50 percent rating for a thoracolumbar spine disability is very difficult.

But, veterans can still qualify for a 40 percent rating for a thoracolumbar disability if they can show one of the following two things:. Veterans who have less than 30 degrees of flexion at the waist when bending forward can qualify for a 40 percent rating. You have to be quite restricted by your back disability to have less than 30 degrees of flexion at your waist.

VA Disability for Back Pain

The other way you can qualify for the 40 percent thoracolumbar rating is favorable ankylosis of the entire thoracolumbar spine. Ankylosis of the entire thoracolumbar spine means that you cannot bend at all. The difference between favorable and unfavorable ankylosis focuses on the position of your spine.

Favorable ankylosis means that your spine is frozen in a neutral position or zero degrees.I have memory problems and as some of you may know I highly recommend Evernote and have for years. Though I've found that writing helps me remember more. I ran across Tom's videos on youtube, I'm a bit geeky and I also use an IPad so if you take notes on your IPad or you are thinking of going paperless check it out.

I'm really happy with it, I use it with a program called Noteshelf 2. Click here to purchase your digital journal. Get the book here. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions.

Give a financial gift to help with the upkeep of HadIt. Gifts are not tax deductible, they are just gifts. Hucast21 posted an answer to a question, Thursday at PM. Hucast21 posted an answer to a question, March Galen Rogers posted an answer to a question, March Asked by Charleese. My husband's BVA decision states residuals of a herniated cervical disc and discectomy are the result of service connected residuals of a left tibia fracture. It also states under ORDER that Entitlement to service connection for residuals of a cervical disc herniation and discectomy as secondary to srvice-connected residuals of a left tibia fracture is granted.

They sent it back to RO to be rated. However, BVA states in their decision: "With respect to the Veteran's claim for TDIU, the claim is inextricably intertwined with the grant of service connection for a cervical spine disability discussed above. The Board notes that the Veteran's residuals of a left tibia fracture, left knee recurrent subluxation, and left knee tender scar are disabilities of a common etiology, and therefore meet the schedular criteria for a grant of TDIU under 38 C.

Section 4. Thee is a diagnostic code for Cervical Fusion. What levels did he have fused. It also applies another rating if he has radiculopathy issues in his shoulders, arms. The ratings are based on his range of motion. Since he has been examined, you can compare his actual ROM from the exam to the listed ROM parameters in the title 38 cfr 4. I think this is enough to put him over the IU hump.

Over a three week period, he experienced progressive quadripaersis and in August was admitted to a private hospital and diagnosed with a severe cervical disc herniation. A cervical discectomy was performed nd the Veteran demonstrated improved leg, aqrm aand hand function.

The most recent records from the Veteran's private physician included a December MRI report showing numerous central disc protrusions along the cervical spine with central canal narrowing. Therfore, the record establishes the presence of a current cervical spine disability. The only ROM that was done was done on his service connected left knee in June of boy his othropedic doctor and he states: The patient, on examination, has old well-healed scars over the left knee.

Range of motion of the knee is about 10 degrees to about 80 degrees. He has good alignment. Both knees have crepitus. The right knee has more crepitus and pain on the medial side. Varus knee deformity on the right is noted.

Sensory examination is intact. Reflexes are trace bilaterally.The appeal as to the issue of entitlement to an initial rating in excess of…. Entitlement to an initial evaluation in excess of 10 percent for tinnitus is denied. Entitlement to an initial compensable evaluation…. The 60 percent disability rating for the right knee disability is restored, effective March 1,and the appeal is granted.

The 20 percent disability rating for the cervical spine disability is restored, effective March…. Entitlement to an increased rating for bilateral sensorineural hearing loss, currently rated as noncompensable, is denied. Entitlement to service connection…. Entitlement to service connection for tinnitus is denied. New and material evidence having been received, the claim….

Entitlement to service connection for a cervical spine disability is remanded. Like this: Like Loading Older posts. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: Cookie Policy.

Post to Cancel.When your back hurts from arthritis pain, the last thing you want to do is work through the VA Disability rating system to get a higher rating — or any service-connection in the first place. The hard part about back pain is that it can be caused in so many ways. Rheumatoid Arthritis can be caused by trauma but also be hereditary. Physical injuries like strains or slipped discs can also cause back pain but be amplified by knee injuries.

Wear and tear of carrying a pound pack for 3 years uphill both ways can wear out joints and trigger osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, and sciatica. There are some veterans that are able to breeze right through the application process, with all of the right paperwork and medical events detailed in their C-File.

There are others that get a lot of run-around about their condition, the causes, and the state of their disability. Since many forms of arthritis in your back are degenerative and get worse over time, the long and tedious VA disability claim process can be very discouraging.

Because it does take a long time to work through the VA application and appeal process, a lot of injured service-members or their surviving spouses give up before they even get started. Very few veterans will receive VA benefits for arthritis in their neck and spine alone. Those types of claims almost always include some sort of injury to legs or arms, a PTSD rating, or some other service-connected injury.

That combination automatically puts you into a range of combined ratings. Since the progression of your symptoms is critical to the level of your rating, you want to include all of these symptoms together in your application. Back pain can be treated and solved if it is a certain type. If it flares up enough that it affects your job or keeps you in bed several times a year, you want to seek VA medical care and start your disability claim soon.

As degenerative disc disease gets worse, it will help if you have reports from a doctor showing the change over time. Showing that progression of arthritis in the lower spine will help show the VA that your condition is changing. You can also submit a statement from past employers about what kinds of special concessions needed to be made for you and your back pain.

You can put us in touch with your past co-workers or boss to prepare a statement about your disability. Whether you have full-blown degenerative disc disease or a few bone spurs, the process is the same.

Back pain can be a symptom of fibromyalgia, diabetes, or other more serious spine injuries, so you want all of it checked out. You can also service connect the increased injury to your joints. If you have a medical record showing back pains before you enlisted, you can apply for disability because your military service made a previous condition worse.

va disability rating for cervical spine

Depending on what your condition was, carrying that heavy pack or jumping out of an airplane could have made it worse. That gap is worthy of a VA rating. When you talk to the VA or your doctor, they are going to talk about Cervical spine issues and thoracolumbar spine issues.

You can even download the form they use to review it all right here. Cervical Spine ratings have to do with your neck. Cervical flexion is the measure of how much you can turn and tilt your head at the shoulder. Thoracolumbar ratings have to do with the lower back. Can you bend over forward, lean to the left and right and turn at the waist? All of those movements involve the thoracolumbar spine area. If you reach around to your back under your arm, you are touching the thoracolumbar area of your back.

You can see in this picture from CFR 38 Section 4. If you have arthritis in your back, you will probably have limited flexion. Limited flexion can be the result of bone spurs or ankylosing spondylitis. That means some of the joints have fused together and no longer move independently of one another. This can cause a lot of pain because the natural shock-absorber between the joints is also not working. Of course, your back is going to hurt after carrying pounds of the lightest gear ever made, but if it continues to hurt for years, you want to get an exam.Many veterans suffer from various back conditions that may or may not be service connected, to include Radiculopathy.

In addition, Radiculopathy is a common secondary VA disability claim, especially Radiculopathy secondary to back conditions or back pain. Radiculopathy is most often rated under CFR 38, Part 4, VA Schedule of Ratingsdiagnostic codes, and for the upper and middle radicular groups.

Your spine is made up of many bones called vertebrae, and your spinal cord runs through a canal in the center of these bones. Nerve roots split from the cord and travel between the vertebrae into many different areas of your body.

When these nerve roots become pinched or damaged, the resulting symptoms lead to a painful condition called Radiculopathy. Radiculopathy can have many different signs and symptoms as well as different names depending on where in the spine it occurs. The spine consists of four 4 primary regions from your neck cervical spine down to your buttocks and pelvic area sacral spine.

The middle and upper back area is your thoracic spine and the lower back area is your lumbar spine. For VA disability rating purposes, the four regions listed below will be considered when it comes to VA disability ratings for Radiculopathy. A veterans VA disability rating for Radiculopathy depends upon the frequency, severity, and duration of symptoms, meaning the more severe your symptoms, the higher the VA rating for Radiculopathy.

The condition must be very severe to be rated here. Moderate: If there are one or more of the main symptoms that significantly interfere with the ability of the body part to fully function, it is rated as moderate. Mild: If there are one or more of the main symptoms, but they are mild and do not interfere significantly with the ability of the body part to function, it is rated as mild.

Tag: Cervical Spine Disability

Moderate: If there is tingling, numbness, moderate to severe pain, or other symptoms that significantly interfere with the ability of the body part to function fully, it is rated as moderate. Mild: If there is only tingling or mild pain in the affected body part, it is rated as mild. There could also be slight or very mild limitations in the movement of the body part, but these limitations would not really affect the overall.

va disability rating for cervical spine

These vertebrae protect the brain stem and the spinal cord, support the skull, and allow for a wide range of head movement. The other cervical vertebrae C3 through C7 are shaped like boxes with small spinous processes finger-like projections that extend from the back of the vertebrae. Because the nerve roots in this area of the spine primarily control sensations in your arms and hands, this is where the symptoms are most likely to occur.

When the involvement is wholly sensory, the rating should be for the mild, or at most, the moderate degree. The ratings for the peripheral nerves are for unilateral involvement; when bilateral, combine with application of the bilateral factor. These are abbreviated T1 through T12 top to bottom. T1 is the smallest and T12 is the largest thoracic vertebra. Thoracic radiculopathy refers to a compressed nerve root in the thoracic area of the spine, which is your middle to upper back.

The symptoms often follow a dermatomal distribution and can cause pain and numbness that wraps around to the front of your body. Each structural element of a lumbar vertebra is bigger, wider and broader than similar components in the cervical and thoracic regions. The lumbar spine has more range of motion than the thoracic spine, but less than the cervical spine. When radiculopathy occurs in the lower back, it is known as lumbar radiculopathy, also referred to as sciatica because nerve roots that make up the sciatic nerve are often involved.

Immediately below the sacrum are five additional bones, fused together to form the Coccyx tailbone. A veteran can receive up to a 40 percent VA disability rating for Radiculopathy of a lower extremity. VA ratings for Radiculopathy of the left lower and right lower extremities are typically rated under diagnostic code The present VA ratings assigned for degenerative joint disease of the lumbar spine, and radiculopathy of the left and right lower extremities when combined See 38 C.

A higher rating than those currently assigned is only provided by rating the service-connected lumbar spine disorders, degenerative joint disease and radiculopathy, separately. Neuritis of the sciatic nerve is rated under 38 C. Incomplete paralysis of the sciatic nerve sciaticaif severe, with marked muscular atrophy is rated as 60 percent disabling. VA ratings for upper extremity radiculopathy is rated pursuant to 38 C. Neuralgia of the upper radicular group is rated based on paralysis under Diagnostic Code Under that code, mild incomplete paralysis is rated 20 percent disabling for both the major and minor side.

Moderate incomplete paralysis is rated as 40 percent disabling on the major side and 30 percent disabling on the minor side.Yes, sort of. You want to see a doctor with a good knowledge of VA disability ratings. There are several different kinds of back disabilities that can earn a VA disability rating.

IVDS is one of the more difficult, while radiculopathy or ankylosis is easier. Ankylosis can be diagnosed with X-Rays and no other symptoms of pain or tenderness. What is Degenerative Disc Disease? How does Spinal Fusion Happen?

Your rating and diagnosis will depend on what is affected, your full measure of symptoms, and what affects your daily life the most. Even after you get your rating decision, run it by some certified VA lawyers to catch any mistakes the VA made with your records. We have recovered entitlements for clients after the VA made a wrong decision decades ago! Intervertebral Disc Syndrome IVDS is a disability in which parts of your spine break or move and put your nerves or other parts of your spine in the wrong spot.

There are a lot of other ailments that are classified under IVDS, and you may have better luck getting one of those service-connected instead of general IVDS. Your spinal discs are critical to the padding between your vertebrae. As they fail, the nerves they protect can cause numbness, pain, or paralysis in your hands and feet. Those nerves can also affect your digestive system, bowels, the whole bit down there.

It can show up between multiple vertebrae, so your doctor can split up your diagnosis into multiple regions. If intervertebral disc syndrome is present in more than one spinal segment, provided that the effects in each spinal segment are clearly distinct, evaluate each segment on the basis of incapacitating episodes or under the General Rating Formula for Diseases and Injuries of the Spine, whichever method results in a higher evaluation for that segment.

You can see that IVDS ratings are all riding on the number of time your back pain is so severe that you are laid out.

Spinal Stenosis VA Disability Benefits

Other back issues are rating according to different criteria. Degenerative Disc Disease is a condition in which the shock absorbers between your vertebrae — the bones in your back — wear out due to age, wear and tear, or other illness. Just like driving a truck with bad shocks, that bumpy ride on your back wears out the equipment really quick. As your backbones bang together, pieces can chip off and cause even more pain and problems.

You get the rating for other conditions that fall under that category based on pain, restricted movement, or the nervous system problems mentioned above. Any sorts of spine surgery while in the service, injuries that affected your back like falls or impacts, and events like car wrecks can all point to spine and back service-connected injuries. Spinal fusion can happen naturally or surgically. When the discs between your vertebrae wear out and cause all of these problems, sometimes a surgeon will fuse two or more of your vertebrae together.

This prevents pinched nerves, slipped discs, and other IVDS problems. Ankylosis is what this is called when the bones do it themselves. An injury or being in a long-term sedentary state can aggravate your joints and make them fuse together.

Flare-Ups and VA Musculoskeletal Disability Ratings

This is Favorable or Unfavorable Ankylosis. Yes it is. The favorable or unfavorable part refers to what position you are stuck in. Favorable means that your stuck standing straight up. Your backbones might be fused together or about to be because of ankylosis, but you at least look normal when you stand or sit. Unfavorable ankylosis is when your stuck bent over in any direction.

Some veterans are bent over sideways but can still walk around with a cane.

va disability rating for cervical spine

Any direction of stiffness that is not straight up is considered unfavorable ankylosis. Ankylosis can occur anywhere in your body where there is a joint. The VA can give you a rating for unfavorable ankylosis of the thumb and any finger.

Unfavorable Ankylosis does bring in higher VA Ratings than favorable.


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