Injury occur in a MVA in Iraq

I was wondering if anyone else can confirm or deny whether a doctor can say a MVA had this happen or you were just born with it. The reason im asking is because currently im being seen in at a VA. This accident occured over 8 years ago. I hit my head pretty hard and had unequal pupils and a headache. After many doctors and many different tests they finally did a MRI on the brain and this is what came back. I still am waiting to see a neurosurgeon. The reason im asking is becasue im already 40% disabled and was wondering if they VA is going to turn me away and say this happened at birth.

Bryan, You may have had the herniation of the cerebellar tonsils from birth. However, trauma can trigger the symptoms of Chiari. Consequently, since it sounds like you had a traumatic brain injury, the swelling in your brain from that injury could have caused what is referred to as an acquired Chiari malformation. In your situation, there is no clear cut answer. Also, even though you may have had the Chiari from birth, people with Chiari tend to become symptomatic between the ages of 25-45 – regardless of experiencing any sort of trauma. The latter statement is becoming more widely understood and accepted by the NSs and the medical community ... so I wouldn't worry too much. Hence, if the NS says that you have had it from birth that should not rule out the possibility that it is symptomatic now and in need treatment. One of the fallacies of this disease is that it primarily a pediatric problem. A good NS should be aware of that. If the NS that you see is dismissive of the possibility that your tonsilar herniation could be the cause of some of your symptoms, I would ask the NS that you see how many patients he has operated on with Chiari. If the number is less than 100 or so, I would appeal for a referral to a Chiari specialist outside the VA system. Some surgeons dismiss this condition, as you have speculated, because it is such a complicated surgery and they do not want to perform it because of the high risk involved. If that happens, getting a second opinion is key. However, since you have already been referred to a NS within the VA system, I would think that the NS would respect the diagnosis of the referring physician but you never know.

I am glad that they finally did an MRI for you. I get frustrated that they do not do a baseline MRI and cognitive testing on all vets who return home after suffering traumatic brain injuries in combat. My nephew had a really bad traumatic brain injury, lost a good bit of his hearing, and they still have not given him an MRI. With alll that we know about traumatic brain injuries and the long-term effects that they cause physically, cognitively, and psychologically, I just cannot understand why the military is not being more proactive to gather baseline information for our vets for future reference and research purposes - if nothing else. In any event, it sounds like you have had a rough road. I am sorry about that. I thank you for serving our country and the sacrifice that you made. Good luck. I will keep you in my prayers. Wishing you healing and deep peace, Fr. D

I was in the MVA when I was 20 years on. From then I have suffered from ringing in the ears, extreme headaches, dizziness, passing out, nausea, neck spasms on left side of neck. This is been on going since the accident in 04. It has taken 8 years to find the room of the problem. During the accident i had a budling disc in my c3 c4 which they thought was causing the problems, However after that healed is when I was wodering why am I still having problems. So me being 20 at the time, this is a great cause to say it was caused by the MVA. I also my a identical twin brother who is not sympamatic.