Sciatic Nerve Conditions
Sciatica refers to pain involving a problem with the sciatic nerve. This is the largest nerve in the human body that extends from the lower back through the hips and the buttocks and down each leg. In most cases, sciatica can be caused by a ruptured intervertebral disk, an injury or narrowing of the spinal canal that puts pressure on the nerve, also known as spinal stenosis.
Some symptoms of sciatica include, but are not limited to:
- Numbness and tingling
- Difficulty walking
- Burning sensation
These symptoms can typically affect one side of the body while other times veterans can experience bilateral symptoms.
Since it can be difficult to distinguish the various categories and degrees of severity for sciatic nerve conditions, we will discuss them below.
How the VA Rates Sciatica and Related Issues
Sciatic Nerve conditions like sciatica are rated in three different categories based on the degree of severity of symptoms.
Paralysis the most severe category, followed by neuritis, and then neuralgia. Each of these categories of never conditions also has sub-categories under mild, moderate, or severe symptoms.
A sciatic nerve condition such as complete paralysis of the sciatic nerve, which causes all of the muscles in the leg and below the knee to fail to work, and cause serious difficulty in bending the knee, could result in an 80 percent disability rating. Incomplete but severe paralysis of the sciatic nerve would result in a 60 percent disability rating. This can be shown by muscular atrophy, poor blood circulation, and limited functionality of the affected body part. Incomplete paralysis can be considered as severe, moderately severe, moderate or mild with disability ratings as low as 10 percent.
Symptoms of severe loss of reflexes, loss of sensation, and muscle atrophy, and severely limited functionality fall under severe neuritis. This could entitle a veteran to a 60 percent disability rating while symptoms of moderately severe, moderate and mild sciatic neuritis can be given ratings of 40, 20 and 10 percent disability ratings.
Symptoms of tingling, numbness, and moderate to severe pain with interference with the affected limb’s functionality, would fall under moderate neuralgia. This could produce a 20 percent disability rating. Mild neuralgia can produce a 10 percent disability rating with symptoms of only mild pain or with mild interference with the limb’s functionality. Symptoms of severe neuralgia have no rating.
If you have a sciatic nerve condition and need assistance in appealing a VA disability claim please contact us today!