Cauda Equina Syndrome

Discussion in 'Medical Evaluation Board' started by Jessica D., Mar 13, 2012.

  1. Jessica D.

    Jessica D. PEB Forum Veteran

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    I was diagnosed with cauda equina syndrome (caused by a buldging disc) in April of last year. I have been on limited duty since then, but I will soon be evaluated for either continuing service, or seperation (I'm guessing those are my only two options). Has anyone else had this disorder? My real question is what should I be preparing for, staying in, or getting out? I've made a decent recovery. I have constant siatic nerve pain (though, it's not so painful that it stops me from doing daily activities) down my left leg, some muscle spasms in my calf muscle, and obviously, I have back pain all the time, which normally isn't too bad unless I aggreviate it with activity. Anyone have any advice for what to prepare for?
     
  2. tonyf

    tonyf PEB Forum Veteran

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    Hello, I was diagnosed with CES in November of 09. I finally got Temporarily retired August of 2011. I was actually retired for PTSD. The military diagnosed my back as Degenerative disk disease and rated it 20 percent. I would be happy to help if you need any advice.
     
  3. green594

    green594 PEB Forum Veteran

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    Jessica- judging by your ROM, i was thinking you will be found unfit. We have very similar cases. The difference is that you are younger and can bounce back quicker. i have has some severe nerve compression and at one point i was thinking that i would never walk again. Thank god i have made a good comback. This being said many service members are not as lucky as me. You only have one back and i think you need to focus on yourself prepare for life outside of the military. i wish you luck.

    on a side note, my results should be in soon, i will keep you posted.
     
  4. Jessica D.

    Jessica D. PEB Forum Veteran

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    Was your back issues on your PEB referral?
     
  5. Jessica D.

    Jessica D. PEB Forum Veteran

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    Oh, and what were your ROM findings? And, did you claim radiculopathy as well?
     
  6. Jessica D.

    Jessica D. PEB Forum Veteran

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    I think they should be sending my case up soon. I'm about done with my exams. I'm getting prepared as best I can to get out. I agree that I'll likely be found unfit (which is what I'm going for anyways, so that would work in my favor). I bounced back pretty well, in comparison to many others who have had the same type of surgery, however, I feel pretty fragile now. lol.
    Keep me posted on your results. Where are they at with your case?
     
  7. tonyf

    tonyf PEB Forum Veteran

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    Only thing that went in with my peb was my DDD and ROM. I believe my ROM was 1 degree over on one measurement so i received the 20% instead of 40%. I had to fight to get the Doc to write anything down. Civilian docs said my strength from waist down was 2/5 My military doc claimed i was as strong as before. Good thing is I was told initially that i would never walk and 6 months later i was walking without a cane.
     
  8. Jessica D.

    Jessica D. PEB Forum Veteran

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    Man, that is a bummer about your measurements. You didn't appeal that?
     
  9. ANGCIV

    ANGCIV PEB Forum Veteran

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    I'm really sorry to hear that you have Cauda Equina Syndrome/CES. I've had it since 2007 and wouldn't wish it on anyone. I'm going thru IPEB now; my VA ratings have just been completed and I'm anxiously awaiting the results. Military diagnosed my primary problem as Degenerative Spondylosis with Bi-lateral Radiculopathy, and my private MD diagnosed the associated CES. I've been on LIMDU since 2007, and if I could do it all over again I would have pushed for MEB much sooner. I dodged the clinic as much as possible trying to stay in, and in hindsight I was only hurting myself and my unit. My condition has negatively impacted my unit SORTS ratings/readiness for far too long. I've had 2 spinal surgeries to relieve the nerve compression associated with my CES. Both surgeries helped, but neither fixed the problem either. I beleive CES has different effects on different people depending upon the specific area and severity of nerve compression. It can be quite serious i.e. weakness and/or paralysis, incontinence, continuous nerve pain...in short it really sucks. I don't mean to be a debbie-downer here but remain as active as possible as your CES 'may' worsen over time. Mine definitely has but like I said it is different with different people. I wish you the best, and really hope your experience will not be as crappy as mine. Take care and Good luck! :)
     
  10. Jessica D.

    Jessica D. PEB Forum Veteran

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    What level did you have surgery on? And, was it the same level both times?
     
  11. ANGCIV

    ANGCIV PEB Forum Veteran

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    L4/L5 for both of my surgeries to date but also have lesser problems at L3/L4 and L5/S1...
     
  12. NONATUS

    NONATUS PEB Forum Regular Member

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    Watch for bladder and/or bowel problems--either loss of control or retention. We are trying to diagnose probable CAS based on these problems--as well as horrific back pain--which most orthopods won't touch wrt a fusion, if you don't have unrelenting sciatica.

    Good Luck and God Bless
     
  13. Miguel Machocomacho

    Miguel Machocomacho PEB Forum Veteran

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    Well I'm glad to hear that you atleast have a diagnosis. I'm about to go to my Dictation and I dont have any real diagnosis other than Chronic back pain and 2 bulged discs. My back is in constant pain with numbness on my left foot and sometimes some pain on the inner leg. So i am a lottle concerned on how this will work. I am however ready to get fixed.... somehow.
     

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