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Monday, January 10, 2011 brad, Community Member, asks

Q: I am a disabled Vet and am petioning the Department of Veterans Affairs

I am a disabled Vet and am petioning the Department of Veterans Affairs for inclusion of a disability as service connected.  I currently have disability from the VA for: Thoracic Spine Involvement Associated with traumatic Arthritis, Acromioclavicular Joint, Rt Shoulder, with pain on Motion and x-ray evidence of Left Hip and Thoracic spine involvement; Traumatic Arthritis Acromioclavicular Joint, Right Shoulder, with pain on Motion, and evidence of left hip and thoracic spine involvement; Synovitis, Right hip(as claimed as Osteoarthritis); and Medial Epicondylitis, Left and Right Elbows.  Since retirement from the Air Force I have developed degenerative arthritis in my Right and Left wrists to the point that I cannot bend either wrist forward at all.  In 2005 I tried to get the VA to agree that the wrists were related or secondary to the other service connected disibilites for arthritis.  This was denied.   In 2008 I saw an orthopedict Surgeon and had my wrists MRI's done.  the results were: Lt wrist.  There is joint space narrowing in the radiocarpal joint. There is degenerative changes in the scaphoid bone with subchondral cyst formation.  There is subchondral cyst formation also in the lesser multangular bone.  On the sagittal views, there is dorsiflexion of the lunate, compatible with dorsal intercalated instability.  There is discontinuity of the joint attachments of the triangular fibrocartilage cortes in keeping with a tear.  The other bony structures show unremarkable marrow signal.  No ligamentous or tendinous abnormalities are otherwise noted.  Impression:  Findings compatible with dorsal intercalated instability, with degenerative change and triangular fibrocartilage joint attachment tear as described.  Right Wrist:   There is degenerative change in the radioulnar joint, with subchondral cyst formation in the radius, the lesser multangular and to a minimal extent the scaphoid.  There is dorsiflexion of the lunate bone compatible with dorsal intercalated instability.  There is partial tear of the triangular fibrocartilage cortex at its attachment to the ulnar side of the joint.  There is a subchondral cyst seen in the capitate bone as well.  Impression:  Dorsal intercalated instability, with associated degenerative changes as described.  There is a partial tear of the triangular fibrocartilage complex at its joint attachment. 

I have done online research and found that the cause of the wrist findings and Medial Epicondylitis, and even the Arthritis, can be overuse or repetitive stress of those joints.  In the Air Force my job was working as an aircraft mechanic which required the the frequent and repetitive overuse of hand tools in the performance of my duties.  My question: does anyone know where I can find an expert to say that in their opinion my wrist condition could have been caused by the same over use that caused the other conditions mentioned that I have service connected disability for?

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By brad, Community Member— Last Modified: 01/10/11, First Published: 01/10/11