Decisions decisions...

Rjohnson87

Registered Member
#1
So I am currently in the process of getting surgery for my knee. I have already had 4 knee surgeries and am scheduled to have my 5th in September. I am tired of having surgery after surgery and it only making things worse. The last surgery they removed my ACL and resected away some of my meniscus as well as cleaned up and filled in all the old holes that have been drilled. My question is what if I decide I don't want to proceed with the next surgery, how will that likely work on an MEB? will I be faulted for not wanting to get another surgery and they wont give me full percentages for an MEB?
 

Warrior644

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#3
So I am currently in the process of getting surgery for my knee. I have already had 4 knee surgeries and am scheduled to have my 5th in September. I am tired of having surgery after surgery and it only making things worse. The last surgery they removed my ACL and resected away some of my meniscus as well as cleaned up and filled in all the old holes that have been drilled. My question is what if I decide I don't want to proceed with the next surgery, how will that likely work on an MEB? will I be faulted for not wanting to get another surgery and they wont give me full percentages for an MEB?
Does anyone have any guidance?
In retrospect, since the DoD IDES MEB/PEB process is a performance-based system, one important factor is the impact of all medical conditions affecting the military service member's ability to "reasonably perform duties of his or her office, grade, rank or rating."

Each military department's first priority for military service members suffering from an illness or injury is to ensure delivery of the highest quality and proper medical attention. If the medical conditions improve to the point that the military service member is able to return to full military duty, then they are returned to their military unit.

Otherwise, despite the advances in modern medicine and the best efforts of patients, some military service members cannot be returned to full-duty status. In this event, it will be necessary for the military service member to be referred to the DoD IDES MEB/PEB process. The IDES process begins whenever the military medical provider determines that the military service member's ability to continue their military service is questionable due to a physical and/or mental impairment. To that extent, the law provide benefits for military service members whose military service is cut short due to a service-related disability incurred in the line of duty. Also, IDES is used to determine the fitness and applicable disability benefits of military service members with duty-related impairments.

That all said, are you still capable of performing your assigned military duties with the current status of your knee (e.g., without getting the 5th knee surgery)? If yes, then a referral into the DoD IDES process is probably not necessary at this particular point in time. If no, then a referral into the DoD IDES process is probably warranted since numerous previous knee surgeries haven't resolved the medical issue.

Moreover, I don't see any fault for not wanting to perform a 5th elective knee surgery. If the previous four knee surgeries have not corrected the faulty medical condition, then it would seem that you have definitely tried to exhaust all medical options for resolution at this point in time. As such, if the medical condition is affecting your ability to "reasonably perform duties of his or her office, grade, rank or rating" then referral into the DoD IDES process is probably a necessity at this point.

Upon acceptance into the DoD IDES process, the potential award of any DoVA ratings by the DoVA D-RAS will be solely based upon how your medical condition(s) current symptomology matches up with the criteria as annotated in 38 CFR VASRD. Please reference this URL at https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title38/38cfr4_main_02.tpl for detailed information. Take care!

Thus, I quite often comment that "possessing well-informed knowledge is truly a powerful equalizer!"

Best Wishes!
 
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