Citation Nr: 18132373
Decision Date: 09/06/18	Archive Date: 09/06/18

DOCKET NO. 11-16 269
DATE:	September 6, 2018
REMANDED
Service connection for a bilateral foot disorder, to include pes planus, Morton’s neuroma, metatarsalgia, hammer toes, hallux valgus, plantar fasciitis, and degenerative arthritis, is remanded.
REASONS FOR REMAND
The Veteran, who is the appellant, served on active duty from March 1976 to March 1979.
Service connection for a bilateral foot disorder is remanded.
In a December 2016 decision, the Board denied service connection for a bilateral foot disorder, which the Veteran appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (Court).  The Board’s December 2016 decision was remanded pursuant to an April 2018 Joint Motion for Remand (JMR) on the basis that remand was necessary because the Board relied on what the JMR agreed to be an inadequate medical opinion contained in a June 2015 VA examination report.  Specifically, the parties agreed that the June 2015 VA examiner’s opinion did not discuss the Veteran’s testimony during the October 2014 Board hearing that he had internal foot pain in service that did not resolve.  
As such, the April 2018 JMR directed the Board to remand the appeal in order to obtain a new VA examination and opinion regarding all of the Veteran’s foot disabilities and whether they are etiologically related to active service. 
The matter is REMANDED for the following action:
Schedule the relevant VA examination with opinion in order to assist in determining the etiology of the Veteran’s bilateral foot disorder, to include pes planus, Morton’s neuroma, metatarsalgia, hammer toes, hallux valgus, plantar fasciitis, and degenerative arthritis.  
The examiner is requested to provide the following opinion:
Is it at least as likely than not (i.e. a probability of 50 percent or greater) that the Veteran’s current bilateral foot disorder, to include pes planus, Morton’s neuroma, metatarsalgia, hammer toes, hallux valgus, plantar fasciitis, and/or degenerative arthritis, had its onset during service or is otherwise etiologically related to service?
In providing the above opinion, the VA examiner should address the following: the Veteran’s July 1977 in-service complaint of bilateral foot pain for one month; the history of marching, running, and walking in service; and the Veteran’s testimony during the October 2014 Board hearing that he experienced internal foot pain during service that did not resolve following service separation. 
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The term “at least as likely as not” does not mean merely within the realm of medical possibility, but rather that the weight of medical evidence both for and against a conclusion is so evenly divided that it is as medically sound to find in favor of causation as it is to find against it.
 
J. PARKER
Veterans Law Judge
Board of Veterans’ Appeals
ATTORNEY FOR THE BOARD	E. Choi, Associate Counsel

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