The men and women who build our roads, schools, churches, offices, and homes likely worked a lot of their time on these vital joints. It seems like everybody knows somebody with a knee replacement. Examples of basic work activities affected by one’s knees include standing, walking, kneeling, crouching, and crawling.
The soft-tissues, fluids, and cartilage present in these joints may break down over the course of a lifetime. For some of us working in desk jobs, the pain might be manageable. But for those of us working in career fields that are mostly standing and walking, the task of completing basic work activities can be impossible.
A strong case involving this medical condition typically charts the following course:
- Referrals: Establish care with an orthopedic specialist and a pain management specialist. Your primary care physician can refer you to one.
- Symptoms: Tell all your providers what you cannot do in your everyday life with your hand(s) because of this problem.
- Compliance: Take your pain medications every day. Find a system to make this work for you. (If the SSA sees any signs of non-compliance in your medical records, then they will severely discount the severity of this condition.)
- Escalate your Treatment: Ask your doctor about these procedures:
- X-ray, MRI or CT-scan. The MRI or CT-scan could be more expensive, but they are more precise imaging that will show more about what’s causing your pain than just an x-ray.
- Physical therapy. Go to all the sessions if you get one—do not miss those sessions or quit, even if you feel like physical therapy is not working for you.
- Trigger point injections or corticosteroid injections.
- The Doctor will ask about how much relief this provided. Emphasize what you are still unable to do, not just how much relief you felt.
- Discuss surgical options. Whether or not you get surgery is your choice. Obviously going through with it will make a strong impression on your judge about how severe this problem is for you. But even the doctor writing down in the medical records that he/she recommended the surgery will create a strong impression too.
- Medical Opinion: Ask your doctor to complete the Treating Source Statement (Packard Law Firm provides this).
Durable Medical Equipment: If you are having problems with walking around, then ask your provider to prescribe a cane, knee brace, or walker. Take it with you to every appointment–do not leave it in the car or at home.
written by: Jacob Hugentobler, Hearing Attorney
Image Credit: Top 10 Causes of Knee Pain, Advanced Sports & Spine (03/03/2020), available at https://www.advancedsportsandspine.com/top-10-causes-of-knee-pain/
Three Common Causes of Knee Pain, Orthopaedic Specialists available at https://www.orthopaedicspecialists.com/blog/three-common-causes-of-knee-pain