Knee surgery and ratings?

#1
Shortly after I joined I fell from a wall. Resulting in me having a complete fracture of femoral condyle. I had immediate surgery and 9months of therapy. I also had a second surgery to remove screws. The knee was fine but now hurts constantly and gets inflamed easily. Thinking of seeing a doc again and discuss meb. Just curious how something like that is rated if at all. Note my surgeon did say i would in future experience arthritis and i have a huge scar down my leg. Ive looked at the ratings outline but couldn't find anything that seem to fit my situation. Any help or advice is greatly appreciated.
 

dotlak

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#2
Shortly after I joined I fell from a wall. Resulting in me having a complete fracture of femoral condyle. I had immediate surgery and 9months of therapy. I also had a second surgery to remove screws. The knee was fine but now hurts constantly and gets inflamed easily. Thinking of seeing a doc again and discuss meb. Just curious how something like that is rated if at all. Note my surgeon did say i would in future experience arthritis and i have a huge scar down my leg. Ive looked at the ratings outline but couldn't find anything that seem to fit my situation. Any help or advice is greatly appreciated.
VA is very strict when it comes to rating knees. Most of the time veterans get 10% each for knees. They only time you get more than that is if you cannot bend your knees at all. You might be lucky to get 10% for the scars also but generally, VA is strict with knee ratings. I was giving 10% for each knee despite the fact that I already ha a surgery on one of them and most of the time I limp because of the severe pain in both knees. Good luck!
 

jahlon

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#3
Here is the question you have to ask yourself: Are you able to meet all the requirements of your job?

If you can meet all the requirements of your job, then the MEB process would come back with Return to Duty.

If you cannot meet some of the requirements, then you would move forward in the process.

Like dotlak said, if you pulled 20% from the VA for the knee plus the scar consider yourself lucky.
 

AFLady4

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#4
I have a similar situation. I was kicked in the knee on an obstacle course, but I didn't get immediate surgery. I was at training and not at my home base so by the time I got back to my home base my knee locked up due to scar tissue. That was 2009. Flash forward to 2015, I tore my ACL. I had surgery to reconstruct both the MCL and ACL, but had complications resulting from surgery. I was put on LIMDU for over a year, and that is what triggered my MEB.

My condition is that the scar tissue interrupts the function of my knee, but when I went through the exams the only thing they looked at was the range of motion (ROM). I have almost full ROM so my chances of getting anything higher than 0% is low unless they give me 10% for the pain and 10% for the surgical scars. Even though scar tissue impeding the function of a joint is a boardable condition, the MEB wouldn't even look at it.

I'm at the finishing phase of the MEB about to start the PEB. I should have the IPEB decision in about a month. I'll try to keep you updated on what happens.
 

magoo853

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#5
So I received my results from my C&P exam the other day and was reviewing the Dr. notes and noticed he stated I had pain and some minor issues with the knee I was NOT referred for. I am being MEB'd for my left knee but he stated pain with movement of my right knee and some other minor issues and I am wondering if the VA gives me a bilateral rating if the DoD will include that into their rating? I do not think I would get more than 20% for just my left knee but will the DoD take into account what the Dr. said about my right knee? Has anyone come across that? Thanks!
 

AFLady4

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#6
So I received my results from my C&P exam the other day and was reviewing the Dr. notes and noticed he stated I had pain and some minor issues with the knee I was NOT referred for. I am being MEB'd for my left knee but he stated pain with movement of my right knee and some other minor issues and I am wondering if the VA gives me a bilateral rating if the DoD will include that into their rating? I do not think I would get more than 20% for just my left knee but will the DoD take into account what the Dr. said about my right knee? Has anyone come across that? Thanks!
If your right knee is not a referring condition to the MEB then they will not include that in your rating. They will only give a DoD rating on the referred condition.
 

magoo853

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#7
If your right knee is not a referring condition to the MEB then they will not include that in your rating. They will only give a DoD rating on the referred condition.
Thats what I thought but even my PEBLO wasnt sure. He was about 50/50 on if I would get bilateral because they were contributing the right knee issues to the left knee. Thanks!
 

jessylynn

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#8
So I received my results from my C&P exam the other day and was reviewing the Dr. notes and noticed he stated I had pain and some minor issues with the knee I was NOT referred for. I am being MEB'd for my left knee but he stated pain with movement of my right knee and some other minor issues and I am wondering if the VA gives me a bilateral rating if the DoD will include that into their rating? I do not think I would get more than 20% for just my left knee but will the DoD take into account what the Dr. said about my right knee? Has anyone come across that? Thanks!
I have a question about your process. I'm being med boarded for my right knee, and the code it was run under is specifically for 'knee pain' how was yours run? I'm just concerned that they're going to say knee pain isn't a diagnoses and kick it back...
 

AFLady4

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#9
I have a question about your process. I'm being med boarded for my right knee, and the code it was run under is specifically for 'knee pain' how was yours run? I'm just concerned that they're going to say knee pain isn't a diagnoses and kick it back...
What is causing the knee pain if you don't mind me asking? I was referred for my right knee as well, and it too, said knee pain, but my actual condition is that I have so much scar tissue from the 2 surgeries I had that it interferes with the function of my knee. Neither my MEB doc or the C&P doc acknowledged the actual condition.
 

magoo853

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#10
I was classified as knee pain as well. They go a little more indepth at the Dr. Appointment but I was surprised to see that he didnt document the arthritis the surgeon and PCM said I had.
 

AFLady4

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#11
I was classified as knee pain as well. They go a little more indepth at the Dr. Appointment but I was surprised to see that he didnt document the arthritis the surgeon and PCM said I had.
My arthritis wasn't documented either, but I found out that I have arthritis in my entire spine. What a way to find out!
 

jessylynn

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#12
What is causing the knee pain if you don't mind me asking? I was referred for my right knee as well, and it too, said knee pain, but my actual condition is that I have so much scar tissue from the 2 surgeries I had that it interferes with the function of my knee. Neither my MEB doc or the C&P doc acknowledged the actual condition.
It started with repeated subluxation, and now my cartilage has degenerated, so in addition to the random subluxation, I'm now walking around with a hole in the cartilage so it's bone on bone, plus arthritis. I had one arthroscopic surgery in which they said they didn't find anything aside from some tissue buildup that they cleaned out and a 'slight right knee tilt'. Following that not helping I got 2 PRP injections that didn't do anything aside from now causing my foot to go numb every now and then. I'm wondering if they just list it as knee pain because there could be so many problems piled on top of each other. Maybe if they diagnose and say it's 'knee subluxation' it will give the impression that it can be fixed?
 

AFLady4

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#13
It started with repeated subluxation, and now my cartilage has degenerated, so in addition to the random subluxation, I'm now walking around with a hole in the cartilage so it's bone on bone, plus arthritis. I had one arthroscopic surgery in which they said they didn't find anything aside from some tissue buildup that they cleaned out and a 'slight right knee tilt'. Following that not helping I got 2 PRP injections that didn't do anything aside from now causing my foot to go numb every now and then. I'm wondering if they just list it as knee pain because there could be so many problems piled on top of each other. Maybe if they diagnose and say it's 'knee subluxation' it will give the impression that it can be fixed?
First, that sounds awful! Second, I think you're right. I wouldn't be surprised if the majority of knee problems submitted to the MEB stated knee pain. It sort of leaves it open ended to make a conclusion on your fitness. I re-read my condition and it says knee pain with post-op complications, but in no way addresses the actual issue itself.
 

magoo853

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#14
So I have another question...Is knee pain, instability and meniscal conditions all rated separately or do they get lumped in together? I see there are different ratings for each in the VASRD but I dont know how they rate them. Will the DoD look at them all together for my unfit condition? For example, I have painful motion, which was noted on the exam as well as slight instability, also noted on the exam and he boxes checked for joint locking and pain in the meniscus. He noted everything as bilateral except my instability in the notes. I am really just wondering how that will affect how the DoD looks at my condition when deciding separation or retirement. Thanks guys!
 

AFLady4

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#15
So I have another question...Is knee pain, instability and meniscal conditions all rated separately or do they get lumped in together? I see there are different ratings for each in the VASRD but I dont know how they rate them. Will the DoD look at them all together for my unfit condition? For example, I have painful motion, which was noted on the exam as well as slight instability, also noted on the exam and he boxes checked for joint locking and pain in the meniscus. He noted everything as bilateral except my instability in the notes. I am really just wondering how that will affect how the DoD looks at my condition when deciding separation or retirement. Thanks guys!
From what I can tell the board members will look at whether the conditions can be rated separately. They will lump conditions together if rating them separately ends up rating the same thing twice. For example, knee pain and ligament pain in the same knee resulting from the same injury will be rated as a lumped condition (very rudimentary example). Now, for yours the pain and instability may be lumped, but if the meniscus issue is causing additional issues it may (MAY) be rated separately, but if the meniscus is causing the pain and instability it will be lumped...again, just from what I can gather in these forums...not the expert here.
 

magoo853

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#16
So whatever they took into account must have helped because my MSC told me today (unofficially) that I got 100% from the VA, which means I would have had to get at least 20-30% for my knee. Hopefully my PEBLO will get my ratings back this week so I can find out for sure.
 

jessylynn

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#17
So whatever they took into account must have helped because my MSC told me today (unofficially) that I got 100% from the VA, which means I would have had to get at least 20-30% for my knee. Hopefully my PEBLO will get my ratings back this week so I can find out for sure.
That's fantastic! Congratulations. I'm still waiting on my fit/unfit it's only been 10 business days since it was accepted to the board but I'm getting kind of antsy. When you get your official ratings would you be willing to post or PM me the write up they did for your knee? I'm just trying to get an idea of how it's all possibly going to play out for me
 

USMCJAG

Registered Member
#19
All: The DoD regulations DO allow you to add conditions after the MEB. Whether the PEB will "honestly" consider them is a different matter entirely. When you go to your FPEB, your counsel will have you sign a "petition" that lists all of your unfitting conditions. If your unfitting condition is not listed on the petition, write it in, or DON'T SIGN IT! If it's on the petition, the FPEB has to do something with it. If they ignore it, write it up in your PFR. Don't forget, you have the burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence to show that the condition is unfitting.
 

AFLady4

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#20
So whatever they took into account must have helped because my MSC told me today (unofficially) that I got 100% from the VA, which means I would have had to get at least 20-30% for my knee. Hopefully my PEBLO will get my ratings back this week so I can find out for sure.
Wow! That's great. I'm interested, too, what your package states if you don't mind sharing.
 
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