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Medical Nexus

Hello, I am a 53 year old Disabled Veteran currently diagnosed with DDD; I was first diagnosed with this in 2000. I am seeking for medical evidence that may be used to as evidence that my DDD was related to my Knee condition. I received reconstructive surgery on my left knee in 1978. I have severe arthritis to this knee, and I need to prove a medical nexus between my Left Knee injury and my current DDD. My contention is that my DDD was aggravated or caused by my altered gate secondary to my knee injury 35 years ago and a history of falls related to my knee giving way. I met with a spine surgeon who stated no, DDD is not caused by trauma; it’s a disease process in the elderly. However, I have read articles that DDD may be caused by trauma or as a natural aging process. Are there any scholarly articles related to making this Nexus that you can recommend.


  • Veteran:

    I fully understand your dilemma and frustration. My challenge has been trying to get the "kinder gentler" VA to accept some association (nexus) between a grade 1 spondy + herniations + DDD with the occupational task of jumping out of airplanes. So far I have been stymied. It took 9 months to get the VA to just send me a copy of my service medical records. This involved nothing but xeroxing papers. They arrived in an expedited, high postage envelop from the Nashville office at my Murfreesboro home - 30 miles! I guess they just did not want me to wait any longer than necessary.

    In my opinion the VA is overwhelmed with their workload. And sadly/tragically, that workload consists of providing assistance to those who previously sacrificed, some of whom are in very dire straits medically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and financially. Also my opinion, the veterans in this nation are not receiving medical service commensurate with their military service.

    I have been blessed with occupational opportunities after my military service and with those occupations came quality health care insurance, accessibility and medical treatment. The veterans that I have seen in VA treatment centers are in MUCH WORSE condition than me, therefore I have deferred my accessibility to them.

    Veteran, I wish you luck. It is an uphill battle.

    Jim (U.S. Army 1972 - 1992)
    edited 08/20/2013 - 2:10 AM
    First, thank you for your service. I have several friends with stories like yours. They had issues with treatment while they were serving, and post service with the VA. One of them got a job with health insurance which they used to get treatment outside of the system. They are doing much better today as a result. It is a shame that we can not uniformly provide the level of medical treatment required to those who sacrificed serving our country. I know that these statements do nothing to help you get rid of the pain and return to a more complete life other than to let you know that there are those that care.

    My recommendation is to try to find care outside of the VA and see if you can get information for the case you wish to make from medical experts outside of the system. If you can afford it, you may even get better medical care.
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