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Back/spine problems

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  • Back/spine problems

    I was wondering if there is any proven relationship between back problems and what we all did in Nam i.e., excessive lifting, vibrations in A/C etc.

    I have had back problems since ~1966 and the VA has said 'tough'. There really no way to prove the cause either way.

    VA claims that I did not see a doctor until mid 90's, my doc retired in late 80's and I never got my records. In the last five years I've had three surgeries w/four vertabrae in my neck locked together and three in my lower back. Parts from three dead people and about $30,000.00 worth of titanium, looks like a junk yard in the x-rays.

    Just curious if there is anyway to relate it all back to Nam.

    Mike Miller
    Crew Chief VMO2 4/66-11/67

  • #2
    accident?

    I was wondering if you have anything in your records or in the command chronology that relates to a crash or a hard landing at anytime on a mission or similar accident that might help prove your point. Even a witness who knew you had some sort of accident that might be related to your back problem and can write a letter for you. It is my experience, having worked with the V.A. and my wife with Social Security, that back problems are the hardest to collect on. To my knowledge there are no studies that aircraft cause back problems, but an accident or injury of some type is a different story, this is your only option that I can see.
    Last edited by sgtdave; 09-29-2006, 20:52.
    David "Butch" Powell HMM-262 RVN 70-71

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    • #3
      Back Issues

      I was removing a rotor blade from the front rotorhead of a CH-46A on the USS Valley Forge (or the Tripoli) with the aircraft parked in line, aft of the superstructure. starboard side. (Aft portion of the bird actually hangs over the side of the ship for those of you not familiar with this arrangement) With me pulling and shaking as was the procedure to remove the blades then (still is, I believe) when the front man dropped his end of the blade as it abruptly came out of the retaining socket (I was the "rear" man). The blade fell towards the flight deck as I reached forward to stop it from pure reaction, without thinking. (we had it beat into our heads that they cost $10,000 each and were always careful with them) As a large man, I stopped the blade from falling overboard, but was in a twistesd position and pulled my back very badly. I couldn't move and had to be "dragged" off of the stubwing to a stretcher and taken to sick bay. I was only 18 at the time and usually healed very quickly, but I remained on bedrest for two or three days before I went back to work. (Still in some pain but taking much verbal abuse from fellow mechanics and Crew Chiefs for not working/flying) NO medication for pain, but muscle relaxers were given.
      I have had ongoing back problems for over 30 years, with one surgery for stenosis, which I believe was hereditary and not due to the incident above. I have vertebre at L4 and L5 that have been painful ever since and are getting progressively worse over the years as a result, I believe, from this initial injury. They will require surgery to correct them. This isn't to say I haven't done other things to agravate it, but the initial injury has set the stage for the other problems, since when you really hurt, your body will "favor" one side or limb from the other, setting the stage for additional issues.
      I would like for the V.A to at least help with expenses for the surgery that is unavoidable, at this point in my life.
      As I make decisions to this end, I will attempt to contact V.A. representatives for assistance at our local hospital in the West Palm Beach area. I registered there when it opened, but have not attempted and services at this time. I'll post any results here.....
      Semper Fidelis
      Joe


      Phu Bai tower:
      YW-11 for Phu Bai DASC-
      Remember, These are "A" models!
      YW-11 BuNo-151939
      '65 Model CH-46A

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      • #4
        Joe you have a clear cut service connected condition. Hopefully it was documented in your medical records. If not brief statements from those who saw or know first hand of the incident are as good. If the skipper is still around ask for his assistance in locating pertinent personnel.

        Get with the DAV or any good veteran service officer for their help. You are entitled to VA medical care for that back injury and disability compensation.

        Good luck

        Comment


        • #5
          VA Bennies

          Thanks Moe,
          I think you are correct as well. With the time I spent in sick bay, there should be documentation available. I need to get off of my duff and get it done.
          Semper Fidelis
          Joe


          Phu Bai tower:
          YW-11 for Phu Bai DASC-
          Remember, These are "A" models!
          YW-11 BuNo-151939
          '65 Model CH-46A

          Comment


          • #6
            Back Problems

            That is something I never gave a thought to. Interesting because reading the first posting sounds exactly like the report on my back... I have three in the neck and four in the base of my spine too! Flying as Crew Chief I rode through a number of autorotations. Some practice and some O'Sh"" Some easy down and a some splat. It's interesting for sure.
            James Mansfield
            HMM-163 1962

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            • #7
              This really hits home. I am currently going through hell with my back. I was a ch-53 crew chief and moved a lot of stuff around in Iraq. My lower back is really messed up and my neck hurts a lot too. My lower back has cost me my job working for ups. I can no longer do a lot of the athletic activities that made me happy. I am going to the va right now for some benefits but it is taking for ever and i feel like they dont really care. Hopefully some good will come out of this.

              Erik

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by BigE View Post
                This really hits home. I am currently going through hell with my back. I was a ch-53 crew chief and moved a lot of stuff around in Iraq. My lower back is really messed up and my neck hurts a lot too. My lower back has cost me my job working for ups. I can no longer do a lot of the athletic activities that made me happy. I am going to the va right now for some benefits but it is taking for ever and i feel like they dont really care. Hopefully some good will come out of this.

                Erik
                Erik-Welcome back. Stay on the VA and get with a good service org-I'm partial to the AMVETS. I turned 60 this month and have had back problems for 40 years, it doesn't get any better. Surgery will help some conditions but you will never be good again.

                Get all of the records you can, any medical files, get statements from people you knew and worked with. My Doc retired about 15 yrs ago and I did not get my records. They are gone and the VA says I never had treatment for back problems until the 90's. I can't get a thing from the VA for my back.

                Statements can help-a friend gets 30% for ptsd-he was in the airfarce and stationed in Thailand. I've known him since 7th grade. My letter to the VA about his mental condition before and after helped him get the 30%. How do you suffer ptsd from Thailand? Hey, everyone is different.

                Again, welcome home-keep your powder dry and your tank full.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Stay with it

                  Big E,

                  Hang in there and stay with it. I have a friend, U.S. Army Vet, who just settled after several years with back problems, a tank guy, and is getting a very large lump sum.
                  David "Butch" Powell HMM-262 RVN 70-71

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hey I went through the same thing, I got 60%. Maybe I can help

                    Hey Guys give me a call at 919 960 3293. I was able to get 60% for my back, I maybe able to help you.
                    S/F
                    DV Miller
                    PS: I can call you back on my nickle too.
                    Ask me about PTSD too>

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      back/spine problems

                      All I can say is" Lotsa Luck G.I. "!!!! I've had a claim in to VA since 1999 for back, neck, & knee problems. One VA Doc , around 60 yoa, said it was service connected (RVN) and helped me fill out claim stating I rated at least 80%. Turned down, and on appeal, was seen by another VA Doc ( mid. 20's, just graduated from U of FLA Med School) whom disagreed with the more experienced Doc. Been on appeal ever since and never hear from them unless I call them for up-dates. Same answer, "it's in the process"!! I used D.A.V. Service Rep for filing process, but after the initial 2 or 3 contacts, haven't heard from them since 2002. You can get your medical record from the St Louis Military Center- I had to gert mine and sent them into VA, even though by their rules, THEY ARE SUPPOSE TO REQUEST THEM!! But they don't- so send for them, make copies and send it to VA and your Rep. GOOD LUCK
                      S/F
                      Drippy
                      VMO-2/HML-167 1968

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