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compression wedge L1

In September 1988 while in the Marine Corps, The Platoon went out into the Field. I drove Amphibious Assault Vehicles, I was in the turret, the driver hit a culvert and about 10-15 mph which sent my back into the corner of the hinge of the turret. I found out in 2011 that I had a Compression wedge fracture of the L1 vertebrae. I have found out last year that my cervical spine C4,C5,C6 and C7 are curved and have a couple of disc's bulging a little. My question is would the Compression wedge fracture after being left untreated for 22 years have caused the cervical spine to be misaligned as much as it is. I also have Tingling in my right and left hands which an EMG showed Carpal tunnel in the left hand but not the right. I am also getting alot of headaches coming up the back of my head. Any insight into this would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You
Tim Christopher



  • Tim:

    I appreciate your service, even if you were a Marine. I spent my twenty in the U.S. Army (infantry, airborne, ranger) and spent several years jumping out of helicopters and airplanes. Had a few physical incidents similar to yours' and they were treated with medicine and PT. However, 18 years after retirement I finally had had enough pain and submitted to a two level lumbar fusion. The VA told me that my service had nothing to do with the condition of my spine.

    What is so ironic is that I was one week away from having to appear before a Medical Review Board half way through my career. I convinced an Army doctor that I was fit enough to continue so he asked me what I wanted my medical records to reflect (physical profile). I asked him to lower it from a P3 to a P2. He did so. I did not have to appear before the Board and was allowed to continue to serve. I flat dab wore out my spine during my 20 years. Just wish the VA had a compassionate heart.

    So, my advice to you is to gather your service medical records and seriously seek a back specialist who understands the "VA conexes issue" and then try to get the VA to accept some or all responsibility for your condition, subsequent treatment, and if appropriate disability rating.

    And this comment for those who read this post. Just for your information, the VA is unacceptably inefficient. I sent them a form letter in January 2012 asking for copies of my service medical records. I received the copies in October, and then they even paid for overnight delivery. Those records traveled all of 35 miles from the retention center to my mail box. Talk about inefficient and unacceptable - there you go. I can only imagine how long it will take to process a claim. I probably should seek a burial plot right now if thens move that slowly.

    Seriously Tim - thanks for your service.

  • davrunnerddavrunner Posts: 479
    edited 12/21/2012 - 6:49 AM
    I did 20 in the Navy and appeared healthy when I retired so no VA rating. Now my back, lumbar and cervical are hosed and the VA say's no history to support being service connected. How about 20 years of steel decks, climbing ladders in high seas on both ships and submarines? At least I have tri-care.
    I am doing nightly traction to postpone a 3 level C4-7 cervical fusion with the hopes that once I have it done I will die before the other levels give out. Also L4/L5 and L5/S1 are what they call dessicated, so deteriorated as to be non existent. Currently lumbar ESI are working and holding off that fusion.
    Tim, it maybe possible for the compression wedge to help cause your cervicle issues as when one area of the spine is weakened it can cause problems with other areas as they try to compensate.
    Jim, I never did understand jumping out of perfectly sound aircraft....
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
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