How the VA Rates Spinal Stenosis in Florida?
Spinal stenosis refers to the narrowing of your spinal canal, resulting in weakness, pain, and numbness when the nerves are compressed. The narrowing of your spinal canal can be caused by the degeneration of the spine or physical injury. Depending on the location and which nerve is compressed, spinal stenosis can cause a wide variety of symptoms. You could have bladder and bowel retention or incontinence, paralysis, myelopathy, and more in the most severe cases.
If your spinal stenosis is connected to your military service or aggravated by your service, you could qualify for compensation through the veterans administration. Speak with an experienced Orlando veterans disability lawyer who can help you with VA disability benefits for spinal stenosis.
Cervical Stenosis Symptoms
When you are diagnosed with spinal stenosis, it refers to the narrowing of the space within your cervical spine. Symptoms of cervical stenosis include:
- Neck pain;
- Weakness in hand, arm, leg, or foot;
- Tingling or numbness in a hand, arm, leg, or foot;
- Problems with your balance and walking; and
- Bladder or bowel dysfunction.
Lumbar Stenosis Symptoms
Symptoms of lumbar stenosis can include:
- Back pain;
- Weakness in your leg or foot;
- Tingling or numbness in your leg or foot; and
- Cramping or pain in one or both legs after standing for an extended period of time, or walking; pain usually eases off when you sit down or bend forward.
How the VA Rates Spinal Stenosis
The VA rates spinal stenosis disability claims according to its General Rating Formula for Diseases and Injuries of the Spine. Examples of a few disability ratings for spinal stenosis are:
- 20%: A 20% disability rating for spinal stenosis means you have more than 30 degrees forward flexion of the thoracolumbar spine, but not greater than 60 degrees; or your forward flexion of the cervical spine is more than 15 degrees but no more than 30 degrees; or your combined range of motion for the cervical spine is not greater than 170 degrees, or the thoracolumbar spine is not greater than 120 degrees; or you have muscle spasms that severe enough to result in abnormal gait or have abnormal spinal contour, i.e., reversed lordosis, scoliosis, or abnormal kyphosis.
- 40%: A 40% disability rating means you have unfavorable ankylosis of the entire cervical spine; or you have forward flexion of the thoracolumbar spine 30 degrees or less; or favorable ankylosis of the entire cervical spine.
- 50%: A 50% disability rating applies when you have unfavorable ankylosis of the entire thoracolumbar spine; and
- 100%: If you have 100% disability, it means you have unfavorable ankylosis of your entire spine.
Many veterans complain of back pain after they conclude their military service. This pain can be excruciating, and it can keep you from earning a living or even performing basic daily living activities. However, no matter how serious your injuries are, you won’t receive benefits unless you can show your stenosis is connected to your service somehow. Given that training exercises and combat are both strenuous, there is an increased chance you could develop spinal problems.
Contact an Orlando Veterans Disability Lawyer
If you need help pursuing a veterans disability claim for spinal stenosis or any other service-related health conditions, contact the Law Offices of Shea A. Fugate, P.A. today to schedule an initial consultation.