MEB referral due to Lower Back Issue

mattk

Registered Member
Hello Team,

I have some questions for you guys about my case.

I am an active duty service member and have been serving in the Army for 4 years.

I've been having serious back pain since last year July (having my back issue since AIT but it was on and off thing but now constant).

In December of last year, I had taken an MRI and received this result:

L1-L2 to L2-3: No significant spinal canal or foraminal narrowing.

L3-4: Small posterior disc bulge. No foraminal or canal narrowing.

L4-L5: Broad-based protrusion with central annular fissure mildly flattens the ventral aspect of the thecal sac and in combination with mild facet arthropathy and congenital narrowing of the canal results in mild-moderate 6 mm spinal canal stenosis. There is mild bilateral foraminal narrowing.

L5-S1: Mild facet joint hypertrophy when in combination with congenital narrowing of the canal results in mild bilateral foraminal narrowing.

IMPRESSION: Mild degenerative changes at L4-5 and L5-S1, when in combination with congenital narrowing of the spinal canal results in mild-moderate spinal canal narrowing at L4-5 and mild bilateral foraminal narrowing at L4-5 and L5-S1.

About two weeks ago, I met an Orthopedic Surgeon and he told me that I should discontinue my service in the Army because my back condition will be deteriorating.

On 10 January, 2019, my PCM referred me for MEB and I am still awaiting for the second signature.

Here are my questions:

1) Is my back issue based on the MRI result ratable under the VASRD? I am asking you guys this because I read the regulation regarding congenital and developmental defects, and they typically don't award any kind of benefit unless they are service aggravated. I believe that my lower back issue is definitely service aggravated (Ruck marching/running, Marathon - running 5 miles up/down-hill and another 5 miles of crosswalk/had to run with my unit, all different types of sit-ups, and typical supply duties, and so on) and I never had any back problem before I join the Army.

2) I've been awaiting for the second signature for 2 weeks now, and I do not know if I have to wait for another week or two or I should contact someone that can help me with this issue.

Due to my lower back pain, I cannot perform my duties as a supply guy, and my lower back pain is constant and getting worse as time goes by (cannot even sleep at night). Also, pain, burning, numbness, and tingling are going down to both legs and in both feet when I am sitting or standing.

Any advice/guidance/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
 

Warrior644

Staff Member
PEB Forum Lifetime Supporter
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Hello Team,

I have some questions for you guys about my case.

I am an active duty service member and have been serving in the Army for 4 years.

I've been having serious back pain since last year July (having my back issue since AIT but it was on and off thing but now constant).

In December of last year, I had taken an MRI and received this result:

L1-L2 to L2-3: No significant spinal canal or foraminal narrowing.

L3-4: Small posterior disc bulge. No foraminal or canal narrowing.

L4-L5: Broad-based protrusion with central annular fissure mildly flattens the ventral aspect of the thecal sac and in combination with mild facet arthropathy and congenital narrowing of the canal results in mild-moderate 6 mm spinal canal stenosis. There is mild bilateral foraminal narrowing.

L5-S1: Mild facet joint hypertrophy when in combination with congenital narrowing of the canal results in mild bilateral foraminal narrowing.

IMPRESSION: Mild degenerative changes at L4-5 and L5-S1, when in combination with congenital narrowing of the spinal canal results in mild-moderate spinal canal narrowing at L4-5 and mild bilateral foraminal narrowing at L4-5 and L5-S1.

About two weeks ago, I met an Orthopedic Surgeon and he told me that I should discontinue my service in the Army because my back condition will be deteriorating.

On 10 January, 2019, my PCM referred me for MEB and I am still awaiting for the second signature.

Here are my questions:

1) Is my back issue based on the MRI result ratable under the VASRD? I am asking you guys this because I read the regulation regarding congenital and developmental defects, and they typically don't award any kind of benefit unless they are service aggravated. I believe that my lower back issue is definitely service aggravated (Ruck marching/running, Marathon - running 5 miles up/down-hill and another 5 miles of crosswalk/had to run with my unit, all different types of sit-ups, and typical supply duties, and so on) and I never had any back problem before I join the Army.

2) I've been awaiting for the second signature for 2 weeks now, and I do not know if I have to wait for another week or two or I should contact someone that can help me with this issue.

Due to my lower back pain, I cannot perform my duties as a supply guy, and my lower back pain is constant and getting worse as time goes by (cannot even sleep at night). Also, pain, burning, numbness, and tingling are going down to both legs and in both feet when I am sitting or standing.

Any advice/guidance/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Welcome to the PEB Forum! :)

In reference to the lumbar/back condition, if your Army entrance medical record/examination don't show any documented proof of this type of injury prior to enlisting into the U.S. Army then no worries. The DoVA D-RAS shall rate your lumbar/back condition based upon all available medical evidence and/or medical documentation in accordance with the criteria as annotated in 38 CFR VASRD.

In reference to your referral into the DoD IDES MEB/PEB process, your assigned PCM would be the primary point of contact at this point in time. Otherwise, if you aren't getting any results in a timely manner then I would strongly suggest that you utilize the U.S. Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) Ombudsman Program. That said, to connect with an Ombudsman, contact the Wounded Soldier Family Hotline at (800) 984-8523 or (312) 421-3700 for overseas or email [email protected]. Take care!

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

Best Wishes!
 

mattk

Registered Member
Welcome to the PEB Forum! :)

In reference to the lumbar/back condition, if your Army entrance medical record/examination don't show any documented proof of this type of injury prior to enlisting into the U.S. Army then no worries. The DoVA D-RAS shall rate your lumbar/back condition based upon all available medical evidence and/or medical documentation in accordance with the criteria as annotated in 38 CFR VASRD.

In reference to your referral into the DoD IDES MEB/PEB process, your assigned PCM would be the primary point of contact at this point in time. Otherwise, if you aren't getting any results in a timely manner then I would strongly suggest that you utilize the U.S. Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) Ombudsman Program. That said, to connect with an Ombudsman, contact the Wounded Soldier Family Hotline at (800) 984-8523 or (312) 421-3700 for overseas or email [email protected]. Take care!

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

Best Wishes!
Very clear! Thank you so much!
 

Warrior644

Staff Member
PEB Forum Lifetime Supporter
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Very clear! Thank you so much!
Indeed, you are quite welcome; no worries! Take care!

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

Best Wishes!
 
data-matched-content-ui-type="image_stacked" data-matched-content-rows-num="3" data-matched-content-columns-num="1" data-ad-format="autorelaxed">
Top