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We examined the PEB database outcomes for the 33 subjects with confirmed VML as their disabling muscle condition to identify which subjects were placed on TDRL for any period of time prior to being medical retired.
Of the 33 subjects with confirmed VML, 15 (45%) subjects were medically retired at their first PEB evaluation.
Their average overall disability rating combining each of their unfitting conditions was 48% (range 20%-70%) and average individual disability rating for just the VML was 25% (range 10%-60%).
Nine additional service members were not assigned a muscle-related disabling condition at their initial PEB evaluation but went on to have a VML disability at their final evaluation.
The remaining 2 service members had VML disability ratings which did not increase or decrease between their initial TDRL evaluations and their final medical retirement dispositions, one with a 20% VML disability rating and one with a 30% VML disability rating.
These results indicate that, for a portion of service members with VML related disability following combat injuries, some are medically retired at their first PEB evaluation and some are placed on TDRL for a period of time prior to medical retirement.
The contribution of VML to the overall rating was not different between the groups, suggesting that other injuries contributed in part to their medical retirement at their first PEB evaluation.
The VML disabling conditions of service members placed on TDRL did not improve but rather deteriorated.
As such, we feel that the increased disability rating between time points for any given service member provides some measure of decreased functional status attributable to the VML. Finally, our small sample size may not allow us to make accurate statistical inferences.
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