Citation Nr: 18123966
Decision Date: 08/03/18	Archive Date: 08/03/18

DOCKET NO. 15-09 375
DATE:	August 3, 2018
REMANDED
Service connection for a left shoulder condition is remanded.
Service connection for a back condition is remanded.
REASONS FOR REMAND
The Veteran served on active duty service from April 1966 to April 1968.
1. Entitlement to service connection for a left shoulder condition is remanded.
The Veteran contends that he injured his left shoulder during parachute training in 1966 and that he has had pain since and limited range of motion.  During his April 2018 Board hearing, the Veteran stated that he had left shoulder pain when pushing or pulling and a decreased range of motion since his 1966 parachute injury.  He treated his pain with over-the-counter medications, but finally sought treatment for his pain in 2011.  Dr. J.C., Jr. gave the Veteran shots in his left shoulder to relieve his pain.  A March 2013 VA examiner opined that the Veteran’s left shoulder degenerative joint disease was less likely than not related to his in-service injury, but the examiner did not specifically address the Veteran’s lay assertions that he had the pain since his in-service injury.  Lay testimony is competent as to matters capable of lay observation.  Barr v. Nicholson, 21 Vet. App. 303, 309 (2007).
The Board cannot make a fully-informed decision on the issue of service connection for a left shoulder condition because no VA examiner has addressed the Veteran’s constant left shoulder pain after his in-service injury.  Therefore, an addendum opinion is required.
2. Entitlement to service connection for a back condition is remanded.
The Veteran contends that he injured his back during parachute training in 1966 and that he has had pain since.  During his April 2018 Board hearing, the Veteran stated that he had constant back pain since his 1966 parachute injury.  He treated his pain with over-the-counter medications, but the constant back pain disturbed his sleep.  A March 2013 VA examiner opined that the Veteran’s osteoarthritis with degenerative spondylosis of the thoracolumbar spine was less likely than not related to his in-service injury, but the examiner did not specifically address the Veteran’s lay assertions that he had the pain since his in-service injury.  Lay testimony is competent as to matters capable of lay observation.  Barr v. Nicholson, 21 Vet. App. 303, 309 (2007).
The Board cannot make a fully-informed decision on the issue of service connection for a back condition because no VA examiner has addressed the Veteran’s constant back pain after his in-service injury.  Therefore, an addendum opinion is required.
The matters are REMANDED for the following action:
1. Ask the Veteran to complete a VA Form 21-4142 for his treatment by Dr. J.C., Jr. in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  Make two requests for the authorized records from Dr. J.C., Jr., unless it is clear after the first request that a second request would be futile.
2. Obtain an addendum opinion by an appropriate clinician to determine the nature and etiology of the Veteran’s left shoulder degenerative joint disease and osteoarthritis with degenerative spondylosis of the thoracolumbar spine.  The examiner must opine whether it is at least as likely as not related to an in-service injury, event, or disease, including the Veteran’s April 1966 parachute injury.  Specifically, the examiner must address the Veteran’s April 2018 statement that he has had constant back and left shoulder pain since his in-service injury.  The examiner should provide a complete rationale for all opinions expressed and conclusions reached.
 
S. L. Kennedy
Veterans Law Judge
Board of Veterans’ Appeals
ATTORNEY FOR THE BOARD	J. Costello, Associate Counsel

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