According to recent reports, total knee replacement surgeries have nearly doubled in the United States over the past decade. Approximately 600,000 knee replacement surgeries are performed annually in the United States with the majority of them being done on patients 70 years of age and older. However, sports injuries and deterioration of the knee joint from high impact activities like jogging are leading to knee replacement surgeries for patients as young as 30 and 40 years of age. At this rate, experts predict that by the year 2030, there will be approximately 4 million knee replacement surgeries performed each year.
Patients face an average recuperation time for total knee replacement of six to eight weeks assuming there are no complications during recovery. Physical therapy and rehabilitation play a key role in successful recovery and restoration of joint mobility. While most patients report a reduction in joint pain and increased mobility after surgery and return to normal activity and work within three to six months, this is not always the case. For those who require a recuperation of 12 months or longer, Social Security Disability benefits may be available.
Complications from knee replacement surgery are rare, but do occur, and can result in extended recuperation, and in very rare cases, permanent or long-term disability. When this happens, Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits may be available when the patient cannot return to work. To qualify for SSD benefits following knee replacement surgery, the patient must prove that their condition will prevent them from working at their current job for at least 12 months. They must also prove that their condition prevents them from working at a job requiring less skill or physical activity.
As with other musculoskeletal system disabilities, the Social Security Administration’s Disability Determination Service (DDS) evaluates the level of disability following knee replacement surgery using specific criteria, which include physical limitations such as:
- Bending, squatting or stooping;
- Lifting and carrying objects;
- Sitting or standing for any length of time;
- Walking with or without the use of canes, crutches, a walker, or braces;
- Climbing stairs with the use of a handrail for support;
- Walking on rough or uneven surfaces;
- Walking at a “reasonable” pace and;
- Walking particular distances, like a city block or further, at a “reasonable” speed.
Patients must provide extensive and detailed medical records to support their claim for disability benefits. Physician reports, x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and reports from physical therapists and rehabilitation facilities are important documents to include in the SSD application to support the claim for disability.
The Philadelphia Social Security Disability Law Firm of Silver & Silver Represents Patients with Knee Replacement Disabilities & Other Musculoskeletal Impairments
For over 30 years, the Philadelphia Social Security Disability lawyers of Silver & Silver have been dedicated to helping disabled clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey claim the Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits to which they are entitled. We handle the tough cases that hinge on the compilation and presentation of strong medical evidence such as knee replacement disabilities and other musculoskeletal injuries or impairments. If you have had a knee replacement surgery and are unable to return to work, our attorneys can help. Call us today at 1-800-94-SILVER or contact us online.