Citation Nr: 18160562
Decision Date: 12/27/18	Archive Date: 12/27/18

DOCKET NO. 12-05 394
DATE:	December 27, 2018
REMANDED
Entitlement to service connection for pes planus as secondary to service-connected bilateral shin splints is remanded.
REASONS FOR REMAND
The Veteran served on active duty in the United States Army from January 2004 to April 2006.  
This matter comes before the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board) on appeal from an October 2010 rating decision of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Regional Office (RO) in Waco, Texas.
The Veteran testified before the undersigned Veterans Law Judge during a September 2016 Travel Board hearing.  A transcript of the hearing has been associated with the record.  
In a January 2017 decision, the Board denied the Veteran’s claim for service connection. The Veteran appealed the claim to the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (Court).  In May 2018 the Court vacated, in part, and remanded the matter to the Board for compliance with the instructions included in the parties’ Joint Motion for Remand (JMR).Entitlement to service connection for pes planus as secondary to service-connected bilateral shin splints is remanded.
In the May 2018 JMR, the Court vacated and remanded the Board’s denial of service connection for pes planus based on the determination that the September 2010 VA examination and October 2012 addendum opinion were inadequate. See Nieves-Rodriguez v. Peake, 22 Vet. App. 295 (2008). Based on the findings of the JMR, a remand is necessary to obtain an additional medical opinion.
The matter is REMANDED for the following action:
1. Schedule the Veteran for a VA examination with an appropriate VA medical professional to ascertain the nature and etiology of her current bilateral pes planus, including whether it secondary to her service-connected shin splints.
After a review of the record on appeal and an examination of the Veteran, the examiner should provide answers to the following questions:
a. Is it at least as likely as not (50 percent or greater probability) that the Veteran’s bilateral pes planus underwent an increase in severity during service, to include when considering the Veteran’s entrance and separation examinations?  If so, is there clear and unmistakable evidence (that is, that is it undebatable) that such increase was due to the natural progression of the disability)?
c. whether it is at least as likely as not (50 percent or greater probability) that the Veteran’s pes planus is proximately due to her service-connected shin splints.
d. whether it is at least as likely as not (50 percent or greater probability) that the Veteran’s pes planus was in any manner aggravated beyond its natural progress by her service-connected shin splints. 
In rendering the opinions, particularly with regard to aggravation, the examiner should specifically address the discrepancies between the Veteran’s entrance examination, which noted mild, asymptomatic pes planus, and her separation examination, which noted normal feet with a normal arch.  
A thorough rationale for all opinions expressed must be provided. It should be noted that the Veteran is competent to attest to factual matters of which she had first-hand knowledge. The opinion provider should cite to the medical and competent lay evidence of record, including the Veteran’s statements, and explain the rationale for the opinion given.
 
Nathaniel J. Doan
Veterans Law Judge
Board of Veterans’ Appeals
ATTORNEY FOR THE BOARD	K. Thompson, Associate Counsel

For A Complete Guide To VA Disability Claims and to find out more about your potential VA disability case and how to obtain favorable VA Rating Decision! Visit: VA-Claims.org

For More Information on Veterans Disability Compensation Benefits! Visit: DisableVeteran.org ~ A Non-Profit Non Governmental Agency


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.