Disability Benefits For Knee Replacement
Social Security Disability Lawyers: Riverside, Orange;& San Bernardino Counties
Disability Benefits for Knee Replacement
If you or someone you know is considering knee replacement, a new resource can help you understand how it works, how to prepare for surgery, and what to expect in recovery.
Knee replacement involves removing parts of your natural knee joint and replacing them with artificial parts. Knee replacement is the most common type of joint replacement surgery.
Several forms of arthritis can damage knees and cause so much pain and disability that knees need to be replaced. Certain knee deformitiessuch as bowed legs or knock kneescan wear down cartilage and create difficulties. Knee damage can also result from a problem called avascular necrosis, or osteonecrosis, in which the bones lose their blood supply, die, and eventually collapse.
If other treatments haven’t helped, your doctor may suggest knee replacement when pain and stiffness begin to interfere with your everyday activities.
If you’d like to consider knee replacement, ask your doctor to refer you to an orthopedic surgeon, a doctor specially trained to treat problems of the bones and joints.
Essential Medical Documentation of OA for Disability Benefits Needed:
SSA utilizes the term “impairments: are the essential bits of information that must be clearly and consistently documented throughout your medical history by the treating sources .
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What Does It Mean When My Doctor Assigns Me A Permanent Partial Disability Rating
After your knee surgery, your doctor should assign you a permanent partial disability rating. The permanent disability rating system uses a complex formula to assign an injured worker a level of impairment. Workers with injuries considered to be severe receive higher disability ratings and are entitled to more benefits than those with lower ratings.
Looking After Your Knee Replacement
Your new knee will continue to improve for as much as two years after your operation as the scar tissue heals and;you exercise your muscles. You’ll need to look after yourself and pay attention to any of the following problems:
Stiffness Sometimes the knee can become very stiff in the weeks after the operation for no obvious reason. Try placing your foot on the first or second step of the stairs, hold on to the banister and lean into your knee. This should help to improve movement and flexibility in your knee. Its very important to continue with the exercises you were working on in the hospital.If the stiffness doesnt improve after about six weeks your surgeon may need to move or manipulate your knee. This will be done under anaesthetic.
Pain Pain caused by bruising from the operation is normal in the first two months, and you’ll probably still need to take;painkillers at six weeks to help you sleep through the night. You may still have some pain for as long as six months. If you still have pain after this, speak to your;physiotherapist or GP.
Infection You should speak to your GP or hospital if you notice any signs of infection, for example:
- breakdown of;the wound with oozing/pus or sores
- increased pain
- redness and the affected area feeling warmer than usual or smelling unpleasant.
You should also look after your feet see a doctor or;podiatrist if you notice any problems such as ingrown toenails that could become infected.
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Qualifying For Disability Benefits For Hip Replacement Complications
In deciding your claim, Social Security can find you disabled “medically” or “vocationally.” Social Security will find you are disabled “medically” when your medical records contain information, such as documented symptoms or test results, that the Administration has already determined is enough to find you disabled under its listings of disorders.
Is Total Knee Replacement Considered A Disability
If knee replacement surgery has left you unable to work, you could get Social Security disability benefits. If you have had knee replacement surgery on a knee with degenerative joint disease or after a bad knee injury, you may be able to get Social Security disability benefitsif you are unable to work.
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How Social Security Determines If You Were Disabled By Knee Replacement Surgery
In deciding your claim, Social Security will look to see if you meet the criteria for one of its “medical listings,” in which case you’ll automatically get disability benefits, or whether it needs to look at vocational factors, like the type of work you can do. In either case, you need to be off work for at least 12 months, though this can include time leading up to the surgery as well as the recovery time.
What About Exercise Following A Knee Replacement
Exercise and sport are recommended after knee replacement, apart from;contact sports,;which may weaken the cement and lead to loosening of the joint components.;Recreational sports including golf, tennis and skiing will gradually become possible depending on how fit and sporty you were before the operation. Cycling is a very good way of building up strength and mobility after knee surgery.
Exercising the main muscle groups around your knee is very important both before and after having a;knee replacement. You can download a selection of exercises that are designed to stretch, strengthen and stabilise the structures that support your knee. Try to perform these exercises regularly, for instance for 10 minutes six to eight times a day. However, its important to find a balance between rest and exercise so you dont overwork your knee. Its a good idea to get advice from your doctor or;physiotherapist about specific exercises before you begin.
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Applying For Ssdi Due To A Knee Replacement
The application process for SSDI benefits requires individuals to provide thorough proof of disability. The Social Security Administration will evaluate this information to determine whether a disability related to knee replacement surgery exists. The SSA maintains listings of recognized disabilities that qualify an applicant for benefits. There are two listings that relate to knee replacement surgery. The Major Dysfunction of a Joint and the Reconstructive Surgery or Surgical Arthrodesis of a Major Weight-bearing Joint listings may apply to individuals who have had knee replacement surgery.
Any medical procedure has risks and limitations. Knee replacement surgery is typically intended to allow an individual to regain or retain movement in their joints, but the surgery is not always successful. People who experience complications may be eligible for SSDI benefits if their limitations do not allow them to work in any position for which they are qualified.
Va Disability Compensation Knee Replacement Ratings: Partial And Total
by Chris Attig
If there are 2 medical issues that nearly every single Veteran has to deal with, it is tinnitus and knee problems: which is why questions about VA disability compensation for;a knee replacement are among the most frequent questions I get in my email inbox.
If you were Army or Marine, a good bit of your time was spent running in formation with improper footwear, carrying 80+ pounds of socks and MREs from Point A to Point B.
If you were in the Air Force, you;may have spent a good bit of time crouched under or in planes.
And you Navy guys and gals ran up and down steps in tight quarters.
Even the desk jockeys have knee problems sitting is the absolute worst position;for your hips, knees and feet. ; Human musculature is not designed for sitting all day.
The point is that one of the most common types of VA Claims is a claim for something to do with the knees.
And, as a Veterans knee;condition worsens, he or she may find themselves needing a partial or total knee replacement.
Can a Veteran;get ;disability compensation for;a Knee Replacement?
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Knee Replacement Recovery Tips
Heres some top tips for four common questions about total knee replacement recovery time:
You can find the answers to loads more similar questions in the total knee replacement recovery questions section.;
How To Get A Va Disability For Knee Replacement
Beat up knee joints are fairly common among Veterans. Between jumping out of planes, carrying and lifting heavy gear, and weekly marches, those joints definitely endured wear and tear while in the service.
If youre experiencing constant pain in your knee and loss of range of motion, you may be starting to think about a knee replacement and discussing it with your physician.
When temporary pain relief like OTC medication and physical therapy arent cutting it anymore, many Veterans opt for a partial or total knee replacement to gain mobility and alleviate constant discomfort.
Knee replacement surgery is performed over 700,000 times per year in the United States with the average of the patient being 50-80 years of age.
If you are a Veteran with surgery in the foreseeable future, youll want to know all about VA disability for knee replacement and how to get a service connection.
First, lets take a look at who is a good candidate for the surgery and what exactly the procedure entails. Then, we will dive into how options for getting a service connection along with VA ratings for knee disabilities.
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Technical Details Of Total Knee Replacement
Total knee replacement surgery begins by performing a sterile preparation of the skin over the knee to prevent infection. This is followed by inflation of a tourniquet to prevent blood loss during the operation.
Next, a well-positioned skin incision–typically 6-7 in length though this varies with the patients size and the complexity of the knee problem–is made down the front of the knee and the knee joint is inspected.
Next, specialized alignment rods and cutting jigs are used to remove enough bone from the end of the femur , the top of the tibia , and the underside of the patella to allow placement of the joint replacement implants. Proper sizing and alignment of the implants, as well as balancing of the knee ligaments, all are critical for normal post-operative function and good pain relief. Again, these steps are complex and considerable experience in total knee replacement is required in order to make sure they are done reliably, case after case. Provisional implant components are placed without bone cement to make sure they fit well against the bones and are well aligned. At this time, good function–including full flexion , extension , and ligament balance–is verified.
Finally, the bone is cleaned using saline solution and the joint replacement components are cemented into place using polymethylmethacrylate bone cement. The surgical incision is closed using stitches and staples.
Length of total knee replacement surgery
Pain and pain management
Type Of Social Security Disability Benefits
There are two main types of SSA disability benefits that you may be eligible for: Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income . SSDI is based on the credits from the work you have done in your life, while SSI is a need based program. You must be found disabled under SSAs Five Step Sequential Evaluation before you are entitled to either benefit.
In order to be found disabled, you need medical evidence demonstrating the cause of your knee problem and how your symptoms affect your ability to work.
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Types Of Knee Problems
Knee pain can arise from knee injury, overuse, osteonecrosis or arthritis. Common knee injuries are sprains, bursitis, meniscus tears, dislocations and fractures. Most minor knee injuries heal on their own while others require surgery . If you injured your knee while working, you may also have an injured worker claim .
Osteonecrosis has similar symptoms to arthritis but it causes bone disease and eventual collapse. In my clients with Avascular Necrosis there symptoms progress from no pain to excruciating pain and back to no pain when the bone itself has died.
Knee osteoarthritis occurs when the cushioning between joints wears away. With the loss of cartilage eventually bones will rub resulting in pain, swelling, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Osteoarthritis can be caused by age, heredity or gender. Via WebMed . I frequently meet clients who have sustained injuries to their knees in their youth who have now developed osteoarthritis with age.
Knee pain can also be caused by Rheumatoid arthritis . RA is an autoimmune disorder that can cause joint pain in the knees and chronic pain in all joints of your body. RA is usually treated with immunosuppressants that have their own side affects.
Knee issues are diagnosed by x-ray or MRI. Treatment for knee issues includes weight loss, medications, physical therapy, injections , braces and finally surgery. Surgery can range from arthroscopic, partial knee replacement to total knee replacement.
Receivingbenefits After Back Surgery
If back surgery fails torelieve your pain, or makes it worse, youre likely still unable to work. TheSSA will evaluate your symptoms and the likelihood your impairment will improvein order to decide whether you qualify for benefits.
Again, there is nospecific listing for back surgery that automatically approves you for benefits.But if the surgery failed to correct your back impairment, you might be able toshow that your functioning is limited by your back problems.
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What Does Not Count In The 14
Some activities do not count in the 14 hours per week requirement, such as:
- the time a portable or implanted device takes to deliver the therapy
- activities related to dietary restrictions or regimes, even when these activities are a factor in determining the daily dosage of medication
- activities related to exercising, even when these activities are a factor in determining the daily dosage of medication
- travel time to receive the therapy
- going to medical appointments
View the life-sustaining therapy video to help you understand the criteria.
When Can You Go Home After A Hip Or Knee Replacement
May 30, 2017
When knee and hip replacements were first developed most patients would stay in the hospital for a minimum of a week, sometimes longer. This lengthy hospital stay was felt to be necessary for patients to get the physical therapy and the care they required for a full recovery. Today, this has changed. Most patients do not need to go to a nursing home for further rehabilitation and are able to return directly home after surgery. Most stay only 1-2 nights in the hospital, and some patients can actually go home the day of surgery.
Why is it Necessary to Be in the Hospital After Joint Replacement Surgery?
Certainly if a patient has diabetes, cardiac disease, kidney problems, sleep apnea or COPD it is important to be monitored closely for the first few days after surgery to ensure that there are no medical complications following surgery. But, what about someone without any of these medical problems? Do they need to stay in the hospital just for physical therapy? In the hospital, physical therapists work with joint replacement patients only once or twice a day. This could certainly be done at home.
But Whats Wrong with Staying at the Hospital for a Few Days?
Improved Pain Control Can Reduce Pain With Oral Narcotics
Outpatient Hip and Knee Surgeries at a Surgical Center
Not Every Patient is a Candidate for Outpatient Hip or Knee Replacement
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Can You Get An Mri If You Have A Knee Replacement
Yes. MRI scans of other parts of your body are safe after knee replacement. Although some old MRI scanning equipment may not be compatible with your prosthesis, the majority of MRI scanning equipment today is safe and compatible with knee replacement parts.
Do You Still Have A Knee Cap After Knee Replacement
The back of the knee cap may also be replaced, depending on the reasons for replacement. The wound is closed with either stitches or clips and a dressing is applied to the wound. In rare cases a splint is used to keep your leg immobile, but youre usually encouraged to move your knee as early as possible.
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Similar Conditions That Affect The Knee
Sometimes patients with knee pain don’t have arthritis at all. Each knee has two rings of cartilage called “menisci” . The menisci work similarly to shock absorbers in a car.
Menisci may be torn acutely in a fall or as the result of other trauma or they may develop degenerative tears from wear-and-tear over many years. Patients with meniscus tears experience pain along the inside or outside of the knee. Sometimes the pain is worse with deep squatting or twisting. Popping and locking of the knee are also occasional symptoms of meniscus tears.
Since some of these symptoms may be present with arthritis and the treatment of arthritis is different from that of meniscus tears, it is important to make the correct diagnosis. A good orthopedic surgeon can distinguish the two conditions by taking a thorough history, performing a careful physical examination, and by obtaining imaging tests. X-rays and Magnetic Resonance Imaging scans may be helpful in distinguishing these two conditions.
Knee Joint Infections
Also called infectious arthritis or septic arthritis, a joint infection is a severe problem that requires emergent medical attention. If not treated promptly knee infections can cause rapid destruction of the joint. In the worst cases they can become life-threatening.Symptoms of a knee joint infection include:
- severe pain
- fevers and
Again, a joint infection is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention.