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VA Disability Issues for Veterans in Need of Knee Replacements

Military service makes many demands on those who are willing to sacrifice for our country. But the service is downright brutal on service members’ joints. In 2011, Stripes reported that military deployment puts troops at risk of osteoarthritis at a higher rate and at a younger age than the general population. Military training and active duty assignments are especially hard on weight-bearing joints: hips, knees, spine, ankles, and even fingers. So, it’s no surprise that many veterans seek out knee replacements. If you are a veteran who has had, or is considering, a knee replacement, these facts are important to know:

  • There is no presumed service connection for a knee injury. This means you must prove with substantive evidence, including your medical records, doctors’ statements, and service history, that the injury stems from military service.
  • Disabling knee injuries can qualify you for VA benefits. If you can show that your knee injury is service related, the VA will give you a disability rating for the condition. Under 38 C.F.R. § 4.71a Code 5055, disability ratings range from 100 percent to 30 percent disabling.
  • If you get a full knee replacement, you are rated at 100 percent for your first year after surgery. After your first year, the VA will give you a permanent rating somewhere between 60 percent (if you suffer weakness and severe pain with motion) and 30 percent for lesser symptoms. The minimum rating you can receive after a full knee replacement is 30 percent.
  • Partial knee replacements are rated on the symptoms the patient experiences. There is no set minimum rating for partial knee replacements. VA assigns ratings based on the patient’s range of motion and sensation of pain.

If your knee replacement surgery is successful, you can recover a great deal of your quality of life. Complications from knee replacements are rare, but certain types of knee replacements have shown higher rates of failure and have been subject to recalls. These include the DePuy Synthes Attune Knee System and devices by Zimmer Biomet, Stryker, Smith & Nephew, and Wright Medical.

Knee systems often fail due to loosening of the bond with the bone, which causes pain, instability, swelling, limited range of motion, and weakness. Revision surgery is generally necessary to replace the defective knee system. If you have had a knee replacement and are experiencing any of these issues, you must report the problem to your healthcare provider. However, you should also consult an attorney with experience in knee replacement litigation to advise you of your rights and pursue compensation.

Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban helps veterans access the VA benefits they deserve. We are also personal injury attorneys who pursue justice aggressively for patients injured by defective knee replacements. To learn how we can help, call 866-866-VETS or contact our office online.

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    I have knee issues and have arthritis in both and a statement from my va dr. Saying this but I keep getting denied and I have medical proof from military

    We are sorry to hear this. We would be happy to discuss your claim in more detail. Please call us directly at 866-866-8387. Thank you.

    I had both knees replaced. One on Jan. 7th 2007 and the right knee replaced March the same year. I splayed for disability and have been turned down a number of times. I have prof when in my military service of several times I injured my knees. I also. have a letter from a VA doctor stating that my injury to my knees was service connected. Before I entered the service I worked as an underground miner, and when I got back home I tried to get my old job back and was denied employment as a miner due to my service connected disability’s. Three years later I finally got a job as service miner in the sand plant for a substantial reduction in pay. Cause I had medical coverage through the mine for 17 years the va said that my to much time had lapsed with no record of knee problems. The mine closed its doors in 2003 and they could not find my records. I filed a new claim on Feb. 13 this year with evidence that showed that My recorded were lost, and several letters stating that I had problems with my knees right after my 8 years of military service comment .

    We are sorry to hear this. We would be happy to discuss your potential claim in more detail. Please call us directly at 866-866-8387. Thank you.

    I already have a knee problem that is rated at 10 percent disability. I now need a total knee replacement. Can I use my own surgeon or do I have to have the va doctors do the surgery in order for me to be able to claim the 100 percent for 1 year following tkr?

    We would be happy to discuss your potential claim in more detail. Please call us directly at 866-866-8387 or fill out our contact us form. Thank you!

    What can I get when both knees have had Total Knee Replacement 4 months apart (Left knee Mar, 2018 and right knee July, 2018). My injures is service-connected

    We would be happy to discuss your potential claim in more detail. Please call us directly at 866-866-8387 or fill out our contact us form. Thank you!

    Had knee replacement on 29 Oct18 and 8 Mar 18, dr informed me the implant had failed and my knee cap was broken

    We are sorry to hear that, we would be happy to speak with you regarding a claim. We can be reached directly at 866-866-8387.

    I had total knee replacement 19 March 2019, i was told i would get 100 % for the 1 year after surgery, i have submitted all required forms and information that has been asked of me, my question is how long after surgery do benefits start. VA,has really been good to me and have not had any issues. Knee was service connected and all paper work has been submitted. Thanks.

    We would be happy to discuss this with you. We can be reached at 866-866-8387.

    I have an appointment with the VA on Wednesday, I have a total knee replacement in my left knee; surgery was 3 years ago and I retired from the Navy 5 years ago. My ortho surgeon said I had no cartiledge left; it was bone on bone and was most likely caused by the years of running in the Navy. Is there anything I need to do to strengthen my case with the VA?

    We would be happy to speak with you regarding your claim. We can be reached directly at 866-866-8387 or we can contact you via email?

  • Thank to Mr. Spencer I was able to get my VA disability claim re-reviewed and given another chance to receive disability. By far he is one of the most professional lawyers I have ever dealt with. So Veterans if you are looking for help with your VA disability claim I would suggest that you hire Macari, Russotto, Spencer, & Balaban. Thanks again for everything.

    — Alfred Daye

  • As a disabled veteran trying to navigate the complexities of the Veterans Administrations regulations, I turned to the law firm of Marcari, Russotto, Spencer and Balaban. They helped me understand what I needed to do and prepared and presented to the VA an excellent presentation of my case. I recommend them for your legal needs.

    — Harry Johnson

  • I was very satisfied with the excellent and professional manner the law firm handled my claim. I highly recommend any veteran who needs help with his or her claim to use Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban P.C. Special thanks to Mr Spencer for being very professional and courteous during the appeal process. Again Thanks to the entire firm for a job well done!

    — Luther Henderson

  • My husband & I highly recommend this law form to any veteran trying to navigate the endless red tape of the VA. We turned to Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban to handle my husband's appeal and could not have been happier. We enjoyed open and consistent communication regarding our case. Any questions we had were answered immediately.

    — Michele DeZayas

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