Who Needs a 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 deformities—such as bowed legs or knock knees—can 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:
- How far can you walk?
- How long can you stand? Do you need a cane/walker to ambulate?
- How much can you lift and carry?
- Do you have difficulty reaching, bending, squatting, stooping? Describe.
- What is your average daily pain level?
- Do you have objective tests confirming OA such as X-Rays/MRIs
- Do you have swelling, pain on examination?
- Are you doing physical therapy?
SSA utilizes the term "impairments: (and resulting "limitations" - why you cannot work) are the essential bits of information that must be clearly and consistently documented throughout your medical history by the treating sources (medical doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists).
SSA additionally utilizes the term "Residual Functional Capacity" (RFC); this is a key concept related to the resulting physical and/or mental impairments from conditions for which the disability claim is based upon and the impact upon ability to work.
SSA has its own forms that are used for Physical RFC here. These forms can be filled out by the treating source who has the opportunity to examine the patient and understand the limitations which result from his/her condition and thereby document with specificity in the language of SSA disability.