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Hello everyone! I would like your thoughts and opinions on my claims. Sorry that this is long. This issue spans back to 1997. I hope someone can provide insight to what I am doing wrong and can assist me. I have highlighted my specific questions.
I have been denied 3 times since 2005 for patellafemoral / chondromalacia, rheumatoid arthritis. All of the results of my claims come back not service connected – which confuses me. I was in the Army from 1995-1999. During my 5th week of basic training I have a documented diagnosis of metatarsalgia, retropatellar pain syndrome, constant bilateral knee pain, patellar tendonitis, ITB syndrome and a “possible connective tissue disorder”. Other symptoms and diagnoses were: tenderness to palpitations on peripatellar region, poor tracking of knee, positive heel strike, locking and giving way many times, aggravated by marching, running, walking, straightening, no prior history of knee pain, ipsilateral knee pain, barely noticeable limp, pain on the lateral tibial region, pain on subpatellar and peripatellar region, knee pain on extension and hip flexion, increase in pain while approaching terminal knee extension, with a mild 99.0 fever at each visit. My xrays showed within normal limits. No MRIs, ultrasounds or blood work was performed – except pregnancy tests each time I went to sick call.
This was over a period of 3 clinic visits (3 weeks) and 3-4 physical therapy visits. I was prescribed shoe orthotics, Naproxen and Ecotrin. The last entry during basic training states no sign of improvement, bilateral knee pain. In basic training, I denied a 7-day profile, 2 times, because I was threatened with being recycled, and at each clinic visit with malingering and being discharged if I continued to complain of knee issues. When I returned to duty after sick-call, I was forced to do exercises as punishment for missing training and PT that consisted of squats, mule kicks, running multiple laps around the building, doing high-knees while jogging, side to side ice-skaters, deep lunges, running in place and performing one-leg squat stands for close to 1 hour. If I complained, cried or cried out in pain, more punishment was added: planks, jumping jacks and holding a dummy rifle outstretched in my hands, while in a deep squat. I didn’t go back to sick call again because each time I asked, I was either denied outright or only allowed to go after PT. When I did go, I was punished which brought more knee pain and stress upon myself.
When I got to AIT, I went back to sick call for the same knee issues and to get more medication – here is where it gets interesting. There is only 1 record of any of my visits while in AIT. I have requested records 3 times since 2005 and there is only 1 record. This record does not describe any treatments, no diagnosis, only the profile which states no running, jumping, marching for 7 days, “discussed sick call policy”, 0 major medical problems and a notation of LSC Nov 30, 1995 C protected, accused of malingering again, with a plan of return to training. If discussed sick call policy was an issue – wouldn’t that be reason to assume to VA rater that I went more than 1 time? I know I went several times. Why wouldn’t there be any examination records? After AIT, I did not go to sick call for my knees again because I didn’t want to be discharged. I self-medicated with Motrin, ice packs, heating pads for the rest of my service to Germany and 2 tours to Bosnia and Hungary. Motrin and prescribed anti-inflammatories use caused diagnosed vision issues starting in 1997. I just filed a claim 2 days ago.
I chaptered out of service in 1999 due to pregnancy. I was not given a medical, dental or vision exit examination and no counseling on VA benefits. I was out-processed fast. I was told since I would be a dependant of a soldier, that my continuity of care would continue at his base and not to worry about anything. I didn’t know any better at the time. Now, I know that not having an exit medical exam has apparently screwed me from any disability claims and receiving any ratings.
In 1999, 2000 and 2001, for 3 pregnancies at 3 different bases, I complained to my military OB Drs about all-over joint and knee pain, continued mild fevers and fatigue. They blew me off and said it was normal with pregnancy, that I was gaining weight which put stress on my tendons and ligaments and causing them to stretch and that I was going to be tired. I accepted that and trusted the Drs. I have 0 medical records regarding my pregnancy, hospitalizations, hemorrhages after each pregnancy and subsequent D+Cs. They are missing. No records requests have produced them. After my last pregnancy in 2001, I was still having the same issues with joint pain. I finally got blood work done. They found that I had Rheumatoid Arthritis and other potential connective tissue disorders. I had no previous auto-immune issues prior to service. I have no family history of auto-immune issues. I continued on with care as a dependent until 2004 when my husband ETSd from Ft Knox to Phoenix, AZ. When he ETSd, he received a VA briefing and an exit medical. He found out about VA benefits. Of course we were stumped on why this didn’t happen for me or I would have filed in 1999.
I applied at VA for health care. I was denied treatment at VA hospital in Phoenix, AZ because I did not have any current disability ratings, we made too much money and already had private health insurance. With the help of a VSO, I submitted a claim for my knee issues and Rheumatoid arthritis in 2005. I had a C&P exam in 2005. The examiner determined that I had bi-lateral knee pain consistent with non-inflammatory arthralgia, pain and grinding on both knees, subpatellar tenderness, had a range of motion to 140 degrees but pain at 120. I should be sent to Rheumatology because I mentioned a diagnosis in 2001 (didn’t happen). It said that although there are treatments in active service notated, yet subsequent records were negative for any follow up care or treatment for any knee condition. A condition has to be considered “chronic” before service connection can be granted. Wouldn’t 4 documented times going to sick call, being threatened with malingering/discharge, being prescribed medication, orthotic insoles with physical therapy, a profile and no improvement be considered “chronic”? Any other civilian records provided for the claim were dismissed stating “were too remote from service to be related to service”. No permanent or residual or chronic disability subject to service connection is shown by the service records or demonstrated by evidence following service. Furthermore, pain in itself, without an underlying disease process is not ratable condition subject to service connection. Therefore, the current diagnosis of bilateral knee pain is denied. Bilateral patella tendon laxity/patellafemoral syndrome is also denied. No NOD or appeal was filed at the suggestion of VSO.
I filed again in 2006 with more knee evidence and treatments. VSO said to file claim under 38 USC 1151. I was denied. No NOD or appeal was filed at the suggestion of VSO.
I filed again in 2014 for painful joints, bilateral inflammatory arthralgia, bilateral patella tendon laxity/patella femoral syndrome, degenerative arthritis, orthopedic condition, right knee condition, left knee condition. I was not provided an examination. I was denied. No NOD or appeal was filed.
I have a chain of records spanning since 1997-present showing knee issues and joint pain. I had a knee replacement in 2017 and a revision surgery in 2018. I have been diagnosed with 2 additional auto-immune issues since 2007. I have submitted buddy statements, my own statement of claim and a million medical records. None of my Drs except an allergy and eye dr will write a nexus letter or do a DBQ. I am not sure what else to do. Do I need a lawyer? My previous VSO did not want me to appeal anything or do a NOD upon receiving a denial. Can I do anything with these old claims? They just recently said to reopen the 2005 claim with a new form of supplemental evidence showing the issue progressed to needing a knee replacement. If I didn’t appeal it back then, how can I reopen it? If it wasn’t service connected, then would the new patellafemoral and pain “Saunders” case help me for reopening a claim from 2005 or should I just file a new claim?
in 2017, I filed for personal trauma, depression and anxiety relating to pain. That claim was denied with no service connection and because of no currently disabilities. I did not have a mental health or C&P exam. I received a phone call from VA asking me about sexual trauma. The claim denial said no stressor was found to cause mental health issues and that I had no current diagnosis. The VSO wants me to get a mental health evaluation regarding chronic pain over the past 20+ years causing depression and anxiety when going to the Drs, having issues reporting pain or medical conditions and “sucking it up” until I cause more damage to myself.
I see all these veterans on here with ratings for patellafemoral and other issues. I am frustrated that I cannot get another examination or get any service-connection at all – when there are obviously issues reported while in service. Any claim that I file (regardless of the issue filed) – they reference the 2005 C&P exam that was only for my knees and I am denied. I am sitting down with DAV, the new VSO in October to go over everything previously submitted regarding my knees. If none of my civilian Drs over the past 20 years wont provide a nexus letter or DBQ, (although I have a current diagnosis) how can I correlate rheumatoid arthritis to the knee pain, all over joint pain and low-grade fevers? How can I win the patellafemoral that is still present in my right knee? If my left knee is now replaced, but it had patellafemoral and arthritis prior to the replacement, would that even be rateable now? If anyone would like to provide assistance, I would greatly appreciate it.
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Hello everyone! I would like your thoughts and opinions on my claims. Sorry that this is long. This issue spans back to 1997. I hope someone can provide insight to what I am doing wrong and can assist me. I have highlighted my specific questions. I have been denied 3 times since 2005 for patellaf...