va disability rating for cervical spine fusion

Does the veteran have imaging evidence of a cervical vertebral fracture with loss of 50 percent or more of height? We hope this guide has been helpful. A veteran's Degenerative Disc Disease VA disability can be rated at 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, 50%, or 100%. Here one of our VA disability lawyers goes over the questions Woods and Woods, The Veterans Firm, is often asked about veterans disability claims and appeals. The VA requires the following to establish an injurys connection to military service: You will need to ensure that you have the medical nexus as it is absolutely necessary to establish the connection. #21. Every back pain claim should be reviewed as a possible TDIU claim. Unfavorable ankylosis of the entire spine. If your VA claim is denied and you believe a mistake was made, you are allowed to appeal the decision. Your back can even go into an abnormal contour, which simply means its bending in ways it isnt supposed to. This level can also have muscle spasms, muscle guarding, and pain without abnormal gait or curves. VA disability ratings for spinal fusion determine the degree of spine movement possible without intolerable pain. In the VA rating system, orthopedic conditions affecting the spine are separated into neck conditions and back conditions. Some of the common neck injuries which VA will cover include the following: Disc Injuries These are injuries that affect the discs between vertebrae in the spine. To receive the highest possible disability rating, you must provide the proper evidence to support your claim. This means that your VA disability rating for neck pain will likely not be the primary rating involved in your TDIU, but it may supplement another more severe condition. If yes, document the Veterans description of the flare-ups he/she experiences, including the frequency, duration, characteristics, precipitating and alleviating factors, severity, and/or extent of functional impairment he/she experiences during a flare-up of symptoms. You might be able to lean right and left 30 just fine. It is common for secondary conditions to occur from orthopedic disabilities. Muscle guarding can happen to resist pain or other signals from the sensory nerves in your back. A Goniometer should be used at your C&P exam to measure Range of Motion (ROM) of your spine; each measurement is rounded to the nearest five degrees. This means your spine is frozen in an unfavorable position. Some examples of cervical conditions that are rated under this code include the following: Diagnostic Code 5237 Cervical Strain A torn tendon or muscle in the neck Theyll also look at whether or not youre still experiencing pain despite having undergone surgery. Rather, they are added using VA math. Brian Reese here, Air Force service-disabled Veteran and Founder @ VA Claims Insider. Once thats done, the surgeon will place bone grafts or metal rods and screws between the vertebrae to hold them together while they heal. That means, depending on your pain and other symptoms, you can have full movement without rotation in your lower back and still be eligible for a 10% VA rating. The veteran continues to prove service connection by submitting evidence that proves their neck pain interferes with their daily life. Disc injuries like herniated discs cause weakness, pain, and numbness. If you have a limitation of motion that only applies to how you can twist, note that if you have full thoracolumbar motion forward, sideways, and backward, that is only going to add up to 180 of total motion without some rotation. Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure that involves joining two or more vertebrae together. Neck pain refers to the top seven vertebrae of the cervical spine. How Do I Increase My VA Rating for Neck Pain? Common ailments that may necessitate spinal fusion include: Before understanding how VA ratings for spinal fusion work, you will first need to understand how to connect the spinal fusion to a service-related injury to be eligible for VA benefits. Unfavorable ankylosis of the entire thoracolumbar spine. This level is basically less flexion: 30-60 degrees of flexion for the lower to middle back and 15-30 degrees for your neck. If youre only 45 years old but it feels as though your neck is 80, it may be beneficial to speak with a doctor about applying for a VA disability rating. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) views conditions of the spine through two main categoriesneck and back. Let's talk about your VA disability benefits. C&P exams are typically carried about by a VA physician or other VA-approved health professional. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. This means your mid and upper back is frozen in an unfavorable position. Phoenix, AZ: One Renaissance Tower, Two North Central Avenue, 18th & 19th Floor, Phoenix, AZ 85004 Philadelphia, PA: 1 International Plaza, Suite 550, Philadelphia, PA, 19113 Since symptoms can improve and worsen over time, veterans are encouraged to have their rating re-evaluated every couple of years as ratings are not permanent. They will also consider your age, education, and employment history. Theyll need to see evidence that the spinal fusion is caused by your back condition and is related to your service. yet assertive representation for our clients. The following spinal conditions are all rated under the same general rating formula: Lumbosacral or cervical strain (diagnostic code 5237): This would be the diagnostic code assigned to a Veteran experiencing pain in their neck or back. How to File a Claim on VA.gov (step-by-step)! Whiplash Whiplash happens when the neck experiences a forceful back and forth motion that causes lasting pain. Neck Pain is the #5 most claimed VA disability. Learn more about us, Veterans Disability Claim Unfavorable ankylosis of the entire spine. Tucson, AZ: One South Church Avenue, 12th Floor, Tucson, AZ, 85701 Updated: October 24, 2022. Foraminal Stenosis This is a form of spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spine) that involves the tightening of foramen between bones in the spine. Hear from fellow Veterans just like you, with many of our Business Development Representatives having gone through our programs. Twisting at the hips is also counted in your movement as part of your thoracolumbar spine. If you believe you can make an argument to change VAs mind, it may be worthwhile to pursue a different decision. If you add in the rest of your back, so that your entire back is fused in an unfavorable position, youll be eligible for 100%. If you believe you deserve a higher rating than the VA has given you, you have the right to appeal their decision. What Does Your VA Disability Rating Mean? 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. This report should detail what kind of procedure was performed, what level(s) of the spine was involved, and any complications that occurred during or after the surgery. This is because the VA will only pay benefits for injuries that occurred during or as a result of military service. Expand Table Amputations: Lower Extremity Buddy statements provide the same type of information but come from other veterans who may have served with the claimant. The reasonable doubt rule, means that the evidence provided by the claimant/beneficiary (or obtained on his/her behalf) must only persuade the decision maker that each factual matter is at least as likely as not.. Where there are additional disabilities rated 50% or 100%, or anatomical or loss of use of a third extremity see 38 CFR 3.350 (f) (3), (4) or (5). How the VA Rates Spinal Fusions VA ratings for spinal fusion follow the same process as other spinal conditions and are based on the range of motion defined in 38 CFR 4.71a. When determining your rating, the VA will consider your entire medical history, not just your spinal fusion surgery. VA Disability Claims (General) > Cervical Fusion. You want to see a doctor with a good knowledge of VA disability ratings. If youre applying for VA disability benefits and youve had spinal fusion surgery, you should definitely include that information in your claim. The tiers work their way up from 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, and 50% and then jump all of the way up to 100%. Its usually performed when other treatment options, like medication and physical therapy, have failed to provide relief. IVDS can cause chronic pain in the back, usually made worse by prolonged sitting or bending. The VA only gives a 50% rating if you have unfavorable ankylosis of the entire thoracolumbar spine. Your spine may become unstable if theres abnormal (or excessive) motion between two vertebrae. The difference is almost $2,700 per year! Spondylosis is rated as a back condition, meaning it can be rated using any diagnostic code between Diagnostic Code 5235 and Diagnostic Code 5243. . How to File a Claim on VA.gov (step-by-step)! They may also need to wear a back brace. 50% - unfavorable ankylosis of the entire thoracolumbar spine. To assess a veterans neck pain and the potential connection to an in-service event, VA is allowed to request a compensation and pension (C&P) exam. Use our VA disability calculator to estimate your combined VA rating and monthly payment. This Firm is So Good at what they do! Range of motion and functional limitations will be evaluated. By joining the vertebrae, the surgeon can stabilize the spine and take pressure off the nerves. Ankylosis can be diagnosed with X-Rays and no other symptoms of pain or tenderness. For instance, the VA rating for favorable ankylosis of the entire cervical spine is 30%. Forward flexion of the thoracolumbar spine up to 85 or of the cervical spine up to 40 OR the combined range of motion at 120-235 for thoracolumbar or 170-335 for cervical. It is better for your health to be diagnosed with favorable ankylosis but if you are diagnosed with unfavorable ankylosis, you'll get more money to help you out. However, if you can work or perform some daily activities, the VA will assign a disability rating based on how severely your condition impacts your ability to function, according to the rating criteria. Woods and Woods, LLC, Veterans Disability Lawyer, Veterans Disability Benefits Attorneys Helping Veterans Nationwide, Published on October 15, 2019 by Neil Woods Last Updated on January 10, 2023. Spinal weakness or instability. Only individuals with chronic neck pain will be eligible for VA benefits. Washington, D.C.: 1776 I Street, NW, 9th Floor, Washington, D.C 20006 Spinal Cord Injuries These are very serious injuries that can result in a loss of motion or feeling in the body. #16. Signup to never miss a beat with special offers, blog updates, exclusive trainings, and more delivered right to your inbox! These physical demands take their toll on the spine, and it is not uncommon for our veterans to find themselves dealing with back pain that hinders their quality of life. You get the rating for other conditions that fall under that category based on pain, restricted movement, or the nervous system problems mentioned above. 10% - forward flexion of the thoracolumbar spine greater than 60 degrees but not greater than 85 degrees; or, combined range of motion of the thoracolumbar spine greater than 120 degrees but not greater than 235 degrees. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. What is the Reasonable Doubt Rule for Neck and Shoulder Pain? The highest scheduler rating for severe neck pain is 100%, which means your entire spine is frozen in an unfavorable position. This means you do NOT currently have the VA disability rating and compensation YOU deserve, and you could be missing out on thousands of dollars of tax-free compensation and benefits each month. The VA is required to give you the highest rating you deserve for your symptoms, so if a 50% Sacroiliac injury looks the same as a 30% rheumatoid arthritis claim, they are required to give you the 50%. Use tab to navigate through the menu items. Lumbosacral, Cervical Strain, or Cervicalgia are the medical terms used to describe Neck Pain.. Essentially, the more limited you are, the higher your rating will be. While not all of these are exclusive back pains, they can all point to conditions in the spine that would warrant a higher VA rating. The courts further likened the reasonable doubt rule as akin to the principle in baseball that the tie goes to the runner.. Brian Reeseis a VA benefits expert, author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller You Deserve It: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Veteran Benefits Youve Earned, andfounder of VA Claims InsiderThe Most Trusted Name in Education-Based Resources for Veterans.. Its imperative to understand these ratings as they determine the benefits you are entitled to. All Rights Reserved. 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. Note that a veteran is eligible to be rated for both a neck condition, back condition, and Radiculopathy secondary to multipole extremities. They will review your records to see if you have any other impairments contributing to your overall condition. Asthma secondary to GERD (acid reflux or heartburn) Asthma secondary to Obstructive Sleep Apnea. One of the nice things about these VA ratings is that they do not require you to have pain, radiculopathy, stiffness, or even aches. Currently, VA rates neck pain severity on the following values: 0% rating Forward flexion of the cervical spine over 40 degrees, 10 % rating Forward flexion of the cervical spine over 30 degrees, but less than or equal to 40 degrees; or a combined range of motion of the cervical spine above 170 degrees but not causing abnormal spine contour or abnormal gait, 20% rating Forward flexion of the cervical spine over 15 degrees, but less than or equal to 30 degrees; or a combined range of motion of the cervical spine above 170 degrees, 30% rating Forward flexion of the cervical spine less than or equal to 15 degrees; or favorable ankylosis of the entire cervical spine, which occurs when the spine is stuck, but in a position that does not heavily interfere with an individuals daily activities, 40% rating Unfavorable ankylosis of the entire cervical spine, which occurs when the spine is stuck in a position that makes daily activities extremely difficult, 50% rating NOT APPLICABLE to the cervical spine, only assigned to individuals with unfavorable ankylosis of the entire thoracolumbar spine, 100% rating Unfavorable ankylosis of the ENTIRE spine.

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va disability rating for cervical spine fusion