Citation Nr: 18132302
Decision Date: 09/06/18	Archive Date: 09/06/18

DOCKET NO. 16-07 476
DATE:	September 6, 2018
Entitlement to service connection for left leg sciatica is remanded.
Entitlement to service connection for right leg sciatica is remanded.
The Veteran served on active duty from August 2007 to December 2011.  
Bilateral leg sciatica
The Veteran was afforded an April 2012 VA examination and the examiner indicated that the Veteran did not have radicular pain or any other signs or symptoms due to radiculopathy.  Service treatment records noted radicular pain in service.  Moreover, the Veteran’s representative has asserted that the Veteran’s bilateral leg sciatica condition can be intermittent and the VA examination might have been held during a time where there was not a flare-up.  See May 2018 DAV Appellant’s Brief.  Further, the Veteran’s representative has indicated it is in the Veteran’s best interest to re-examine the Veteran.  Id.  Accordingly, the Board finds that remand for a new VA examination is warranted. 

The matters are REMANDED for the following action:
1. Obtain outstanding relevant VA treatment records and associate them with the claims file.
2. Then, schedule the Veteran for a VA examination to determine the nature and etiology of his left leg and right leg sciatica disabilities.  To the extent possible, the Veteran should be scheduled for the examination during an active period of flare of his asserted left leg and right leg sciatica disabilities.  The claims file, including a copy of this remand, must be provided to the examiner in conjunction with the requested opinion.  All indicated tests and studies should be conducted, and all findings reported in detail.  The examiner should respond to the following: 
(a) Identify whether the Veteran has current left leg and/or right leg sciatica disabilities.  A complete rationale should be provided.  The examiner should indicate whether the Veteran is being examined during a flare-up. 
(b) Is it at least as likely as not that any diagnosed left leg and/or right leg sciatica was either incurred in, or is otherwise related to, the Veteran’s active duty service?  The examiner should specifically address the Veteran’s service treatment records noting sciatica.
(c) Is it at least as likely as not that the Veteran’s left leg and/or right leg sciatica disability was caused by his service-connected degenerative disc disease of the back?
(d) Is it at least as likely as not that the Veteran’s left leg and/or right leg sciatica was aggravated by his service-connected degenerative disc disease of the back?
Aggravation indicates a permanent worsening of the underlying condition as compared to an increase in symptoms.  If aggravation is found, the examiner should attempt to quantify the extent of additional disability resulting from the aggravation.
The complete rationale for all opinions should be set forth and a discussion of the facts and medical principles involved would be of considerable assistance to the Board. 
The examiner is advised that the Veteran is competent to report his symptoms and history.  Such reports must be acknowledged and considered in formulating any opinion.  If the examiner rejects the Veteran’s reports, he or she must provide an explanation for such rejection.
If the examiner cannot provide an opinion without resorting to mere speculation, he or she shall provide a complete explanation for why an opinion cannot be rendered.  In so doing, the examiner shall explain whether the inability to provide a more definitive opinion is the result of a need for additional information, or that he or she has exhausted the limits of current medical knowledge in providing an answer to that particular question(s).

3. After completing the above action and any other necessary development, the claims must be readjudicated.  If any claim remains denied, a Supplemental Statement of the Case must be provided to the Veteran and current representative.  After the Veteran has had adequate opportunity to respond, the appeal must be returned to the Board for appellate review.
Veterans Law Judge
Board of Veterans’ Appeals
ATTORNEY FOR THE BOARD	S. Schick, Associate Counsel

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