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Spinal stenosis/herniated disc advice. Troop cuts influencing medical?

ParaLax

Member
Registered Member
Found some good info online, but my situation is just slightly different. I'm an active duty SSG, a current student at SWCS at Bragg.

Anyone had experience with this? Feet go numb, tingle. Sciatica. Low to moderate back pain daily, episodes are sporadic. MRI found 2 herniated discs and spinal stenosis. I'm tracking this is progressive. I have another follow up, and this is after I've been referred to PT and chiro. Wondering if this is where surgery is brought up. This is the first time there is no longer a deployment/school/ftx/whatever coming up, and I don't have a squad of little dudes relying on me. Finally ready to be honest with an Army PA for once...but scared to do so. I have crazy flat feet that I had a p2 profile for...and it took me 6 straight months of sweettalking medical to delete it about two years prior, so i could go and try and be high-speed.

Won't finish the course at SWCS for sure, because I'm already off jump status. My primary mos is 13B, puhles of 222221. Am I looking at MEB/MMRB? Still in good shape, and can deal with a large amount of pain. I know the army does laminectomy or a fusion. Would taking either of these options benefit me later? Worried about force reduction pushing an MEB real quick-like. If i can get a solid answer...I'll pay it forward later!
 

jason5201

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
It sounds like the biggest problem is you are worried about saying something to the doctors because of a possible MEB but I will tell you that you have to look after yourself and get the best medical care you can. I went this route for years and it finally got so bad I was MEB'd and looking at my second surgery since August for a herniated disc. My neurosurgeon is really concerned about permanent nerve damage in my left leg and who knows what the future holds for me. To answer your question yes you could be facing a MEB but you could get a surgery done if your back is that bad and recover with no issues and finish off your career. You have to ask yourself if jumping out of plane or sleeping in the woods for a month is really worth a lifetime of pain.
 

SGT Bob

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
It sounds like the biggest problem is you are worried about saying something to the doctors because of a possible MEB but I will tell you that you have to look after yourself and get the best medical care you can. I went this route for years and it finally got so bad I was MEB'd and looking at my second surgery since August for a herniated disc. My neurosurgeon is really concerned about permanent nerve damage in my left leg and who knows what the future holds for me. To answer your question yes you could be facing a MEB but you could get a surgery done if your back is that bad and recover with no issues and finish off your career. You have to ask yourself if jumping out of plane or sleeping in the woods for a month is really worth a lifetime of pain.

The quote above is the best advice you could get SSG. I have back problems that are very similar to yours and, luckily, I was referred off post to a very well known doc. He told me that I was one "fall" or "wrong twist," etc... from being paralyzed for the rest of my life. The moral of the story is that being "high speed" is not worth a lifetime of pain. I know how the Army (Military in general, I am sure) views people on profile. We are all automatically considered to be "dirt bags" or whatever but there isn't a single soldier, regardless of rank, out there that is going to take care of me or my family once I get out and I probably won't even remember what most of their names are a couple years from now so I couldn't care less what they think or say.

The bottom line SSG is that you have to take care of yourself because nobody else will. Your back problem will not get better by itself and it certainly could get MUCH worse. Especially if you try to ignore it. I did that for about 18 months and was risking paralysis without even knowing it. So do yourself and your family a favor and get it taken care of ASAP. If you get "MEB'd," that's ok because you will get taken care of and get disability pay that you have earned.

I hope everything works out for you.
 

Belle

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
You have one life and one back. You must live with the one back you have the rest of your life. However, you won't be living with the Army for the rest of your life. Take care of yourself first! I have had Air Force guys who work for me have spinal fusions and laminectomy. Some have had great success with the surgery, were coded C-2 (limited deployment) and have continued their Air Force careers. I've seen other guys finally be honest about the pain once the condition is too great...and they have been medically retired or separated....my husband is included in that bunch. He hid the pain and denied it. Then, once he had a diagnosis, he was afraid of surgery (who wouldn't be?) and agreed to conservative treatment first in the form of chiro and physical therapy. Both had limited value. However, when he was disqualified from a squadron command overseas because of his condition, it forced an MEB and he was medically retired before having the chance to try the surgery while still on active duty. He's now waiting for his VA claim to be approved so that he can then have the VA pay for the surgery. The waiting is very physically painful for my husband right now. If you have the time and option to get medical care, including surgery, while you are on active duty, do it. If it means you can't jump out of a perfectly good airplane anymore, hopefully the Army can find a job/MOS you can do once you have recovered post-op.
 
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