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. Youll 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 youll 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.
How To Get A 20% Va Rating For Your Back Disability
Many veterans have back disabilities as a result of their military service. Unfortunately, proving that you have pain in your back from an injury is not necessarily sufficient to get a rating from VA.
VA has particular rules that determine the correct VA rating for back disabilities. Understanding these rules can help improve your chances of receiving the correct rating.
VA uses the term thoracolumbar spine to refer to what most people would call their back. This articles will focus on VAs rules for rating disabilities of the thoracolumbar spine.
I Have Back Pain From Spinal Nerve Root Compression: Can I Get Disability Benefits
Any back injury can debilitate you. Back pain restricts movement and makes it difficult to function. Spinal nerve root compression is one of the most painful back conditions sometimes so limiting that patients can no longer hold a job. If you fall within this category, the good news is that you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits for spinal nerve root compression back pain.
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Why You Should Talk To A Disability Attorney
Back pain can be incredibly debilitating and may even prevent you from being able to earn a living to support yourself and your family. However, in order to qualify for Social Security disability, you’ll need to meet the Social Security Administration’s strict standards. Because the SSA receives so many disability applications for back pain, however, it may deny your claim even if you do have a medically determinable condition.
It’s important that you work with an experienced Social Security disability attorney, like those at Coats & Todd, to make sure that your claim is not wrongfully denied. An attorney can also help you appeal your denied claim if you believe that there was an error. We encourage you to reach out to our firm today to learn more about how our attorneys can assist you in seeking disability for back pain or any compensable injury, illness, or condition.
If you have questions about your eligibility to receive disability for your back pain or related condition, contact Coats & Todd for a free case evaluation.
About Va Claims Insider
VA Claims insider is an education-based coaching/consulting company. Were here for disabled veterans exploring eligibility for increased VA disability benefits and who wish to learn more about that process. We also connect veterans with independent medical professionals in our referral network for medical examinations, disability evaluations, and credible Independent Medical Opinions & Nexus Statements for a wide range of disability conditions.
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What Are Va Benefits For Back Pain
First of all, although it is possible to receive benefits for pain incurred during your time in service without a diagnosis, it is not guaranteed. A current diagnosis is always recommended if possible to obtain. In addition to your current diagnosis, you will need to include a NEXUS letter and DBQ to partner with your medical evidence and in turn, prove your service-connection. Without these outside documents, you are significantly decreasing your chance of winning your VA disability for back problems claim.
In determining benefits, the VA refers to the back as the thoracolumbar spine. This is the term used to reference middle or lower back pain. The VA considers upper back pain in the same category as neck pain. Therefore, anything above middle or lower back pain will be referred to as the cervical spine and falls under a different rating system.
The thoracolumbar spine is composed of two parts of the spine the thoracic and the lumbar . These are the two areas that will be examined in order to determine benefits for any back pain.
Win Your Hip Disability Claim With The Grids
Even if you do not meet a Listing of Impairments, we can still win your claim. Another tool used by Hip Disability Lawyers is the Medical Vocational Guidelines we often call The Grids.
Think of The Grids as a chart. We simply place your age, educational level, exertional level, and skill level onto the chart. Your exertional or strength level will usually dictate whether you are disabled or not disabled. Consequently, it is of utmost importance that your doctor provide us with an accurate assessment of your strength level. Social Security doctors will often overstate your strength level which will likely result in a denial. We need your doctors to set the record straight in that regard. Experienced Hip Disability Lawyers can send proper questionnaires to your doctors to accurately determine your strength level and win your SSDI claim.
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Not Enough Info On Medical Conditions And Employability
To be approved for CPP Disability, you must prove to Service Canada that you cannot work due to your condition. To prove this, you must provide extensive medical evidence highlighting your conditions severity and prolonged nature and how it prevents you from retaining employment. Without substantial evidence proving this, your application will most likely be denied.
What Does Va Mean By Combined Range Of Motion
Combined range of motion focuses on range of motion other than your forward flexion. The doctor should measure forward flexion, extension back, your lateral, which is again the side to side bending, and then rotation which is twisting on an axis.
The doctor should take measurements of each of those. If the measurements add up to be not greater than 120 degrees total, then that would also qualify you for a 20 percent rating.
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What To Expect On The Day Of Surgery
A hip replacement typically takes about one to two hours.
Despite the different surgical approaches that can be used, the steps of a hip replacement are basically the same.
The surgeon makes their incision using the pre-determined surgical approach and then uses precise instruments to remove the bone and cartilage from the ball-and-socket hip joint. They create surfaces that can accommodate the implant perfectly.
In a total hip replacement, the cup that will serve as the new hip socket is placed first.
Next, the surgeon hollows the end of the femur to place a metal rod that the artificial femoral head is then attached to. The ball is finally placed in the cup.
After any incisions are closed and surgery is complete, you are moved to recovery. Measures will be taken to control pain, minimize swelling, and get you moving safely.
You will stay at the hospital for at least one night .
Some patients may be discharged to a nursing or rehabilitation facility if the surgeon believes they need extra time and help recovering.
What Does Va Mean By Incapacitating Episodes
As I mentioned above, veterans can also qualify for a 20 percent VA rating by showing at least 2 weeks of incapacitating episodes in the last year. This applies most often to veterans who have periods where their back flares up or goes out, and they simply are unable to do much of anything. This really takes a toll on veterans and should be factored in by VA.
Fortunately, VA does factor that in. Its another way to rate a spinal condition. Having back pain or some limitations alone will not be enough to qualify for the 20 percent VA rating since VA defines incapacitating episodes.
In VAs rules, incapacitating episodes means signs and symptoms that your doctor says require bedrest that your doctor orders. The good news is that the episodes do not have to be two weeks in a row. You just have to have a total of at least two weeks in the last year.
VAs rules also provide that VA should use whichever method of rating your thoracolumbar spine which provides you with the higher rating. So, if you qualify for a ten percent using range of motion and a 20 percent using incapacitating episodes, then VA should assign you a 20 percent rating.
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Some Conditions Causing Impairment Commonly Assessed Using Table 4
These include but are not limited to:
- spinal cord injury
- herniated or ruptured spinal disc
- spinal cord tumours
- arthritis or osteoporosis involving the spine.
Example: A 50 year old woman has been diagnosed with spondylosis and spinal cord tumour in her lumbar spine. Both these conditions result in functional impairment when the woman performs activities involving her spine. The woman takes regular medication to alleviate her symptoms but even with medication she continues to experience significant pain when undertaking daily activities. Her specialist has recommended spinal surgery but due to the high risks involved in this procedure the woman has decided not to undertake the surgery. This woman is unable to bend forward to pick up a light object such as a cup of coffee, placed at knee height without experiencing significant pain in her lower back. While she can remain seated for more than 30 minutes, she cannot sit for extended periods, such as a long car journey without a break to stand and move around to relieve the pressure on her lower spine.
The conditions are considered fully diagnosed, treated and stabilised. As both conditions cause the same functional impact a single impairment rating is given under Table 4, of 10 points, due to the moderate overall functional impact these conditions have on her ability to function. Under the 10-point descriptor the woman would meet .
Ssd Medical Qualifications For Back Pain
The SSA uses their own medical guide to evaluate disability benefits applications that they receive. This guide, known as the Blue Book, helps to determine whether or not an individual meets the criteria to be considered disabled and eligible for SSDI. There is no listing for back pain, but there are listings that apply to specific conditions that do cause back pain. There are several qualifying conditions that may cause debilitating back pain that can be found in the Blue Book.
As an example, degenerative disc disease does not have a specific listing, you have to have severe symptoms such as requiring assistance to walk, needing to adjust your position more than every two hours and suffer from nerve-specific problems. It may result in additional problems that may be found under a listing in the Blue Book.
Rheumatoid arthritis, however, does have a listing in the Blue Book that refers to ankylosing spondylitis, which involves a fixation of the spine of at least 45 degrees or if you ankylosing spondylitis or another form of spondyloarthropathy with a fixation of the spine of at least 30 degrees as well as moderate involvement of two or more bodily systems.
Many back pain problems can be classified under Section 1.04, which deals with spine disorders. If you can prove that your particular back pain meets the equivalent for spinal disorders, you would meet the requirements set forth in the medical guide.
This particular listing includes:
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Back Pain For Veterans
Spine impairment is one of the leading causes of disability among veterans. Because most of those serving in the military frequently carry and lift heavy loads or engage in quick shifting and running in the line of duty, there is repeated stress and trauma on the joints which affect the health of the spine.
Fortunately, this fact has become more recognized by the VA and those creating policies for the VA. However, it is still important you know how to communicate your pain in order to receive the best possible benefits. Understanding the rules used to determine VA disability for back problems and their ratings will be helpful as you pursue help.
Social Security Disability For Arthritis Pain
The SSA defines arthritis as persistent inflammation or deformity affecting one or more major peripheral weight-bearing joints. This inflammation or deformity must then make it extremely difficult or impossible for you to walk on your own. You can also file an arthritis claim for joint inflammation or deformity in both arms, provided you cannot effectively perform fine and gross motor skills. In plain English, this means you cannot handwrite an essay or carry a heavy dictionary across the room without help.
Much like fibromyalgia, to prove your arthritis qualifies you for disability for chronic pain, the SSA needs copies of your:
- Medical history
- In some instances, appropriate medically acceptable imaging or tissue biopsy reports
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You Can Get Disability Benefits For Back Impairments In Utah And Nevada
If you suffer disability from back pain, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. The Social Security Administration offers Social Security Disability Insurance or SSI benefits. If your have worked and paid taxes, the SSA will find you disabled if you meet certain criteria.
There are several conditions of the spine that can cause disabling back pain. Some of these conditions occur naturally with age, but others may happen prematurely or be the result of an accident or another condition. Some examples of back problems include osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disorder, arachnoiditis, and spondylitis. Many people experience pain from herniated discs, nerve root compression, scoliosis, spinal stenosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and spondylolisthesis.
While back issues can cause severe pain, the SSA makes it a challenge to get benefits for a back condition. In order to qualify for SSD or SSI benefits, you must have a disabling back impairment that will last for over 12 months. Your medical records, including x-rays, MRIs, and your doctors progress notes, must show you suffer from an abnormality of the spine and that is what is causing your pain. The most typical abnormality that causes pain is herniated discs. Herniated discs can compress your nerves and cause sciatica. Sciatica is nerve pain down your legs. Usually, the pain is worse in one leg more than the other. Lumbar herniations can occur with spinal injury or can be due to arthritis.
Conditions Causing Back Pain
Numerous conditions can cause chronic back pain. Some conditions may be genetic, while other conditions might be related to a work injury or accident. Some conditions that can result in long-term back pain include, but are not limited to:
- Spinal Stenosis is common in the lower back and the neck. The condition causes compression of the spinal cord or nerve roots. The pain from spinal stenosis can radiate in the extremities and also cause numbness through the extremities.
- Degenerative Disc Disease is the deterioration of the cushions between the bones of the back. The disease is common in older individuals, but it can also affect younger adults. The pain is chronic and can radiate down through the hips and legs.
- Osteoporosis can result in brittle bones in the back, which increases the risk of fractures. Intense pain is common with vertebral fractures.
- Herniated discs, also referred to as slipped discs or ruptured discs, can cause severe and chronic back pain. The inner portion of the disc breaks through the outer section of the disc, thereby causing fluid to leak into the spinal column. The fluid causes pain when it comes into contact with the nerves in the spinal column. Pain may radiate through the lower back and legs.
- Sacroiliitis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, arachnoiditis, and other inflammatory conditions cause also cause severe and long-term back pain that can prevent a person from working or performing daily activities.
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Can You Get Disability For Back Pain
While back pain can be agonizing and frustrating, and sometimes incapacitating , Social Security does not hand out SSDI or SSI disability benefits readily for back pain.
To qualify for disability benefits, first, Social Security requires you to have a “medically determinable” impairment that lasts for at least one year. This means that x-rays, MRIs, or at least clinical notes must show that your back pain is caused by some physical abnormality of the spine or spinal canal. If you have back pain without a physical impairment that normally produces pain symptoms like yours, you’re unlikely to win disability benefits.
Note that back pain caused by obvious injuries like muscle strains, fractures, or even a herniated disc usually heal within a few weeks or months, so those types of claims often won’t qualify for Social Security disability or SSI.