DDD/Spinal Fusion Timeline

NavalEagle

Registered Member
Brief rundown of overall timeline:
Injured - 2009 (Broken back - 4 vertebrae fractured, 2 discs ruptured, nerve damage)
Treated - 2009 - 2018 (laminectomy, discectomy, spinal fusion of S1-L3)
Reffered to Med Board by Ortho - Dec 19, 2018
Met with Peblo - Dec 20, 2018 (Claim developed and medical records requested) (20 items total on claim, though I only expected 7 going into the meeting)
Met with Med board Dr - Dec 21, 2018
Met VA Rep - Jan 3, 2019
CPE Exam (Mental Health) - Jan 15, 2019
CPE Exam (Optomology) - Jan 25, 2019
CPE Exam (Audiology) - Jan 28, 2019
CPE Exam (General) - Jan 29, 2019

Ebenefits status (gathering evidence)
Ebenefits estimated completion - 06/29/19 to 11/29/19

Told by PEBLO, VA, and Medical Reps total process will take a maximum of 230 days, but to expect to be completed within 180 days from Dec 20, 2018.
 

Warrior644

Staff Member
PEB Forum Lifetime Supporter
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Brief rundown of overall timeline:
Injured - 2009 (Broken back - 4 vertebrae fractured, 2 discs ruptured, nerve damage)
Treated - 2009 - 2018 (laminectomy, discectomy, spinal fusion of S1-L3)
Reffered to Med Board by Ortho - Dec 19, 2018
Met with Peblo - Dec 20, 2018 (Claim developed and medical records requested) (20 items total on claim, though I only expected 7 going into the meeting)
Met with Med board Dr - Dec 21, 2018
Met VA Rep - Jan 3, 2019
CPE Exam (Mental Health) - Jan 15, 2019
CPE Exam (Optomology) - Jan 25, 2019
CPE Exam (Audiology) - Jan 28, 2019
CPE Exam (General) - Jan 29, 2019

Ebenefits status (gathering evidence)
Ebenefits estimated completion - 06/29/19 to 11/29/19

Told by PEBLO, VA, and Medical Reps total process will take a maximum of 230 days, but to expect to be completed within 180 days from Dec 20, 2018.
Welcome to the PEB Forum! :)

Indeed, the DoD is under great pressure to implement the new DTM 18-004 with an issuance that puts the total processing revised timeliness goal for 80% of DoD IDES cases as 230 days. Take care!

Thus, I quite often comment that "possessing well-informed knowledge is truly a powerful equalizer!"

Best Wishes!
 

NavalEagle

Registered Member
Welcome to the PEB Forum! :)

Indeed, the DoD is under great pressure to implement the new DTM 18-004 with an issuance that puts the total processing revised timeliness goal for 80% of DoD IDES cases as 230 days. Take care!

Thus, I quite often comment that "possessing well-informed knowledge is truly a powerful equalizer!"

Best Wishes!
Thank you for the warm welcoming. You are absolutely correct that knowledge is power. Hope to be updating my timeline in the next few months as one of the lucky ones that are retired under the 180 day mark. Never wanted to end my career anything less than a LDCR, but at least I have future options as a veteran.
 

chaplaincharlie

Staff Member
PEB Forum Lifetime Supporter
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Met with Peblo - Dec 20, 2018 (Claim developed and medical records requested) (20 items total on claim, though I only expected 7 going into the meeting)

That is not uncommon, most people don't know what the VA will and will not compensate until they meet with the MSC.
 

Warrior644

Staff Member
PEB Forum Lifetime Supporter
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Thank you for the warm welcoming. You are absolutely correct that knowledge is power. Hope to be updating my timeline in the next few months as one of the lucky ones that are retired under the 180 day mark. Never wanted to end my career anything less than a LDCR, but at least I have future options as a veteran.
Indeed, you are welcome! Understood and cherish all future endeavors! Take care!

Thus, I quite often comment that "possessing well-informed knowledge is truly a powerful equalizer!"

Best Wishes!
 

OllieT

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
@NavalEagle welcome,
It seems we have very relatable injuries. It might be worth your while having a browse through this forum as it has become a reference for me in my IDES journey. Any injuries to the thourasic, lumbar or cervical spine are rated by ROM "range of motion" and like many on here, I found that my C&P exams didn't accuratlly reflect my true ROM so as stated by @Warrior644 Knowledge is power, I would suggest reading the DBQ's for the back. Search this forum for people with similar injuries and most of all, be prepared for every next stage. I have read every Naval and DOD instruction on the PEB so that along the process I am educated and one step ahead. This is a great place to start for information:
overview of MEB process
Common issues with the IDES process
Just wanted to tell you what I wish I was told from the very beginning. I realized that no one else is going to fight for what is best for me except for ME. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.
All the best.
 

OllieT

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
@NavalEagle
I didn't realize you are already so far along in the process. I hope your C&P exams better reflected your actual injuries and ROM. I am looking to do a VARR. thanks to @chaplaincharlie guidance, I am looking into it as my forward flexion is about 15 degrees off where it actually is. I was dissapointed in the C&P examiner as he was retired Navy but hey, you live and you learn! Well, thanks for posting your timeline, hopefully you get some great ratings and can move on with your life. No more midrats.... that is always a good thing right :)
 

NavalEagle

Registered Member
@NavalEagle
I didn't realize you are already so far along in the process. I hope your C&P exams better reflected your actual injuries and ROM. I am looking to do a VARR. thanks to @chaplaincharlie guidance, I am looking into it as my forward flexion is about 15 degrees off where it actually is. I was dissapointed in the C&P examiner as he was retired Navy but hey, you live and you learn! Well, thanks for posting your timeline, hopefully you get some great ratings and can move on with your life. No more midrats.... that is always a good thing right :)
@OllieT
I had a minor setback. Pain Management decided not to send and addendum, so I submitted a rebuttal. Pain management Dr was pretty irritated that i never followed up with him and that I was now asking for a diagnosis. He looked shocked when i explained that I did not follow up because i had an ALIF and was immediately sent to MEB. Had to work with several friends who are Doctors at NMC Portsmouth to help me out and convince him to submit the addendum. Now my last appt will be 19FEB. PEBLO and VA MSC have everything and are just waiting on the last doc to send his/her findings. Hopefully the process will be quick (relatively speaking) after the appointment on the 19th. Ready to get out of VA and move on with my life. Sitting on LIMDU orders at an underwater command for an Aegis FC who worked on BMD is wearing me down. Putting in a request chit to go TAD to another command where I can do something, hell anything, besides staring at the wall and checking IDs. Family is moving back to TX in April, so hopefully I wont be living on a buddies couch for too long after.

Interesting your ROM was not accurate during the exam. Its only the most defining factor with spinal injuries. Luckily my exam went great....took 4 hours, but the NP was very understanding on my limited ROM and explained that she was documenting everything thoroughly and accurately. Only fact that still gets me is the disconnect that seems to be reoccurring with regard to the timeline. Everybody but the PEBLO keeps saying 180 days from claim start, vice the 230 days. Drives me crazy that you cannot effectively prepare for anything beyond the Navy with such a disconnect. I'd rather the Navy move me home now and let me work at a local command until this is done.
 

ctsusmc

Registered Member
My C&P exam ROM said 65 degrees forward flexion (10%). I knew it was way off as soon as I got my informal board results (10% lumbar spondylosis, 10% cervical DDD with radiculopathy (20% total)). Decided to take it to a formal board and had a new ROM taken from my physical therapist... turns out it's 8 degrees which will give me at least 40%. Similar situation for my neck.. originally reported as 35 degrees ROM on C&P and even though "reversed lordosis" is clearly stated as the first line of my MRI, the VA ignored that and only gave me a 10% for "Cervical DDD with radiculopathy". Had the ROM remeasured as 10 degrees (min 20%). Both right and left upper radiculopathy were each rated at 20%, but even though the IPEB found my "Cervical DDD with Radiculopathy" permanently unfitting, they did not include the radiculopathy ratings in the total DOD rating. I took my case to a Formal Board this past Teusday (1/29/19) and am awaiting results. After I receive the FPEB results, my attorneys and I will be submitting a VA rating reconsideration appeal to increase the ratings based on the new ROMs.

My IDES started in April 2018
Informal PEB results ~5 Dec 2018
Formal PEB 29 Jan 2019
 

NavalEagle

Registered Member
My C&P exam ROM said 65 degrees forward flexion (10%). I knew it was way off as soon as I got my informal board results (10% lumbar spondylosis, 10% cervical DDD with radiculopathy (20% total)). Decided to take it to a formal board and had a new ROM taken from my physical therapist... turns out it's 8 degrees which will give me at least 40%. Similar situation for my neck.. originally reported as 35 degrees ROM on C&P and even though "reversed lordosis" is clearly stated as the first line of my MRI, the VA ignored that and only gave me a 10% for "Cervical DDD with radiculopathy". Had the ROM remeasured as 10 degrees (min 20%). Both right and left upper radiculopathy were each rated at 20%, but even though the IPEB found my "Cervical DDD with Radiculopathy" permanently unfitting, they did not include the radiculopathy ratings in the total DOD rating. I took my case to a Formal Board this past Teusday (1/29/19) and am awaiting results. After I receive the FPEB results, my attorneys and I will be submitting a VA rating reconsideration appeal to increase the ratings based on the new ROMs.

My IDES started in April 2018
Informal PEB results ~5 Dec 2018
Formal PEB 29 Jan 2019
Wow, that is a serious difference. Hopefully you get the results you deserve and that your process is completed soon.
 

ctsusmc

Registered Member
Wow, that is a serious difference. Hopefully you get the results you deserve and that your process is completed soon.
If all goes according to plan... this would be the ideal DOD rating results after the VA adjusts the ratings:

Lumbar Spondylosis 40%
Lower L radiculopathy 20%
Lower R radiculopathy 20%
Cervical DDD 30%
Upper L radiculopathy 30%
Upper R radiculopathy 40%

This is a total combined DoD of 89% but my DoD would max out at 75%. With my other previously rated VA conditions it would easily get me to 100% VA.
 
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