(USMC) 3rd Period of LIMDU for same injury. MO doesn't want to put me on a MEB.

Good morning Ladies and Gents, I come seeking guidance.

Background: I'm an Infantry Sgt with almost 8 years TIS. In 2017-2018 I was on two periods of LIMDU for low back pain (degenerative L5-S1 disc) and hip pain (labral tear). While on LIMDU I had a hip arthroscopy to repair the labral tear. My hip pain and back pain improved and I was returned to full duty. Fast forward to 2019, while working up for our deployment my back pain returned and increased in intensity. I went to BAS, received medication, and deployed towards the end of 2019. When we returned from deployment in 2020, my back condition was getting worse and I sought medical attention. I was put in for physical therapy, pain management and received a new MRI. My new MRI shows that my L5-S1 disc is still degenerated, and is herniated with an extrusion. My L4-L5 is also herniated. On 1 December 2020 a 3rd period of LIMDU was initiated for me, and HQMC approved it.

My LIMDU proposed end date is 1 June 2021 and my EAS is 19 June 2021. The current treatment plan of Mobic, Lidocaine patches, physical therapy and pain management hasn't been successful. I'll be in ITX from the end of March to mid-May where treatment won't be available to me. Should I be referred to a MEB? My MO's current course of action is to return me to full duty before my EAS, have me EAS, and let the VA handle care from there. I've talked to a few people currently in the IDES process, and a few former senior enlisted leaders, and they think that I should've been referred to a MEB instead of a 3rd period of LIMDU. They also feel that I'm being cheated out of the potential benefits of medical separation/retirement as apposed to normal EAS'ing. Can I be returned to full duty for EAS purposes if I'm not medically fit for duty? Is there anyone or place that I can contact outside of my unit for guidance if I don't think that I'm being properly cared for?

Thank you in advance for any help.
 
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